Yesterday I was interviewed by The New York Times regarding injuries from falling ice from buildings.
We have handled cases where pedestrians have been injured by falling ice from tall buildings. For example, in one case a police officer sustained a fractured orbit (the bone holding the eye) when he was struck by falling ice from the Grace Building on West 42nd Street. We settled for $100,000.
In falling ice cases the following rules apply:
- The building owner must take corrective action only after the storm ends. The owner has no responsibility to remove snow and ice during the storm.
- Once the storm ends, the building owner must remove snow and ice that pose a danger to pedestrians. If there is snow and overhanging ice which can be removed, then the owner should remove them. If necessary, danger signs should be posted on the sidewalk. It may be necessary to close the sidewalk while building personnel push snow and ice to the street below.
- In the event that a pedestrian is injured from falling ice, the injured party must show that the building owner had notice of the falling ice condition and failed to take corrective action. Such notice could be either actual notice (i.e., there was a prior report of falling ice) or constructive notice (i.e., the landlord failed to make reasonable inspections and take any preventative measures). In either case, the mere fact of showing the accident is not enough.
If you have been injured by falling ice, please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark E. Seitelman, 2/3/11, www.seitelman.com.