The Pothole Law 3

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Q: In the Bronx, I tripped and fell over a raised portion of a public sidewalk.  The most recent ‘Big Apple’ map does not show any sidewalk defects at this location.  The previous map showed raised and uneven concrete there.  The most recent map has a stamp on it that reads: “This map does not supersede any previously filed notice of a defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition.”

A: To maintain this action against the City, you are required to prove prior written notice of the defect.  A failure to demonstrate prior written notice leaves you without legal recourse against the City for its negligence, if any, in failing to remedy the defective sidewalk.

The courts properly require that prior notice be traced to the most current Big Apple map on file – the map that is closest in time to the date of the accident.  Even if this Big Apple map is stamped with a notation that it does not supersede any prior maps, the map filed closest in time to the accident will control for the purpose of establishing prior written notice.

The mechanics of the filing system can tolerate only one map, the most recent one.  The City has a right to rely only on the most recent map.  The later-dated map should more accurately portray the area on the date of your accident.  Everything depends on the most recent map.  I can only hope that there are details that you have omitted that can save this case.

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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