Photos of the Stairs

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Q: My father was descending upon a stairway from an elevated subway station, toward the street.  A missing piece of metal and concrete ledge caused Pop to lose his balance.

A: Your attorney will surely want photographs: they may be used to prove constructive notice of the defect – if the photos are taken reasonably close to the time of the accident, and if there is testimony that the condition at the time of the accident was similar to the condition shown in the photos.

From what you tell me, the photos will show that the step was missing a section of the metal ledge covering the rest of the step’s edge, as well as a piece of concrete, causing some kind of depression.  Generally, the deeper and wider the depression is, the more likely you are to win.  Such photos might even show that the concrete in the depression was covered with dirty faded paint – further establishing that the defect had existed long enough to be noticed.

Your attorney may even be able to discover a record of trouble calls made by station supervisors – perhaps requesting repainting of the stairs with safety paint – or another record establishing that the last paint job had been done long before the day of the accident.

All in all, you must offer sufficient evidence for the jury rationally to conclude that the defendant had constructive notice of the defect in the step that caused the accident.  This provides a valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences for the jury to find that the defect had been there a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit the defendant’s employees to discover and remedy it.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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