The Pothole Law 2

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Q: In Queens, on an obstruction protruding from the sidewalk, I tripped and fell.  I understand that a ‘Big Apple’ map indicates the presence of an obstruction protruding from the sidewalk on this block.  The trouble is that the obstruction is shown at the address immediately next door to the address in front of which I fell.  That is the only sidewalk defect indicated in the vicinity.

A: Under the City’s Pothole Law, to maintain this action against the City, you are required to prove prior written notice of the defect.  A Big Apple Pothole Sidewalk Protection Corporation map submitted to the Department of Transportation may serve to provide the City with prior written notice of the defect.  The Law does not set forth any requirements for the specificity of this notice.  A notice is sufficient if it brought the particular condition at issue to the attention of the authorities.

When there are factual disputes regarding the precise location of the defect that allegedly caused a plaintiff’s fall, and whether the alleged defect is designated on the map, the question is resolved by the jury.  It sounds like a valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences could lead a rational jury to decide in your favor.  This case looks winnable: a jury has the potential to determine, upon a fair interpretation of the evidence, that the Big Apple map provided the City with prior written notice.

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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