Janitor Awarded $3.3 Million Against NYC Transit Authority for Defective Subway Stairs Causing Trip and Fall
A 69 year old janitor was descending the stairway at the Rockefeller Center subway station when he tripped or slipped from the third step all the way to the bottom. Based on a videotape of the stairway, the jury agreed that the third step was dangerous due to a defective pitch or slope. The janitor suffered fractured vertebrae's and herniated discs in his neck which required two cervical fusions within 30 days of the accident. He was never able to return to work and claimed he would have worked to age 79 in order to qualify for a 25 year pension. The jury found that the janitor was 14% at fault and held the NYCTA accountable for 86% of the total $3.3 million verdict.
On appeal which was recently resolved, the Appellate Court found that the award for $1.2 million past pain and suffering and $1 million in future pain and suffering over the balance of his 10 year life expectancy was reasonable. The balance of the award was for lost wages and medical expenses. Dacaj v NYC Transit Authority