OFFICER RECEIVES $600,000 SETTLEMENT FROM PRIVATE BUILDING OWNER AFTER HE FELL ON A DEFECTIVE ENTRANCEWAY PLATFORM IN FRONT OF AN APARTMENT BUILDING
A New York City Police Officer received a $600,000 settlement from a private apartment building owner after sustaining injuries on a poorly lit uneven exterior platform entranceway while leaving a job inside the apartment building. The Officer had attempted to return to his RMP when he walked on a concrete-paved forecourt of the building and attempted to step on the sidewalk. There was a concealed vertical change in level between the forecourt and the public sidewalk. According to an architect hired by DCD, the concealed level change caused the officer to twist his ankle and fall, causing serious injuries including aggravating a pre-existing LOD back injury. The Officer was diagnosed with degenerative lumbar disc disease and underwent spinal fusion surgery. The Officer, after a battle with the Article II Medical and pension board over “incident v. accident” was awarded a ¾ line-of-duty disability pension. DCD sued the building owner pursuant to GML 205-e alleging the owner of the apartment building violated New York City Housing Maintenance Code Section 27-2040 and NYCBC Local Law 76 in not providing adequate lighting as required in Article 6 of sub-chapter 6 of the same chapter. DCD also alleged the owner violated NYCBC Article 7, ‘Means of Egress’, in that the concrete forecourt did not have the required level of risers. Although the Officer had a pre-existing lumbar condition, the matter settled for $600,000 at a mediation.