New York City's Sidewalk Law
NEW YORK CITY ADMINISTRATIVE CODE § 7-210 DOES NOT APPLY
TO INJURIES RESULTING FROM A DEFECTIVE CURB CONDITION
AND REMAINS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
A New York City Summary Judgment motion based on New York City Administrative Code § 7-210 should be denied where the injured plaintiff was injured due to defective curb conditions. NYCAC § 7-210 expressly refers to “sidewalk flags" and in no way mentions curbs or curbstones.
In Irizarry v. The Rose Bloch 107 University Place Partnership the plaintiff testified at her deposition that “she stepped up onto the curbstone, her foot twisted and she fell to the sidewalk." 12 Misc3d 733 [Sup Ct, Kings County 2006]. Based on the plain language of NYCAC § 7-210 the Court held that the section was inapplicable because “the accident occurred on a defective curbstone." Irizarry, 12 Misc3d at 739. Justice Schmidt further stated that NYCAC § 19-101 defines a “Sidewalk" as the portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, but not including the curb, intended for the use of pedestrians." As such the Irizarry Court held that “curbstones remain the responsibility of the City of New York and not the responsibility of the abutting property owner." Irizarry, 12 Misc3d at 737.
Justice Schmidt’s reasoning in Irizarry was that “it was clear that 'curbstones’ were part of the definition of ‘street,’ and specifically governed by NYCAC § 7-201 … Specifically, section 7-201(c)(1)(a) provides that [t]he term street shall include the curbstone, an avenue, underpass, road alley, lane, boulevard, concourse, parkway, road or path within a park, park approach, driveway, thoroughfare, public way, public square, public place, and public parking area." Irizarry, 12 Misc3d at 737.