We have previously written that generally New York City is no longer liable for sidewalk defects. In most cases the adjoining property owner is responsible.
However, New York remains liable in certain cases, such as where the adjoining property is a residence of one to three families. In those cases, plaintiff must prove that the City received prior, written notice of the defect, such as the defects noted on one of the annual maps submitted by the Big Apple Pothole and Sidewalk Protection Corp.
However, Big Apple has not submitted new maps since 2003 when the City shifted liability to the private property owners.
The question is whether a map from 2003 is too old to prove notice for a 2008 accident?
The question is answered in a Queens Supreme Court case, Weissman v. City. The 2003 map is not too old. If a defect is shown on the 2003 map and if the defect has not been repaired, then the old map is sufficient to prove a case. There was nothing in the new law which places a time limit on the applicability of the maps.
Ultimately, this issue may be appealed.
If you have been injured due to a defective sidewalk, please feel free to contact me for a free consultation. Please feel free to call 800-531-1434 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark E. Seitelman, 10/21/10, www.seitelman.com.