On June 16, 2014 settlement of $175,000 was reached for our client who was injured on August 12, 2012 when he, a 70 year old retired man, was walking his dog on a leash on the sidewalk in front of residential premises in Oakland Gardens, Queens. He tripped and fell over a large tree limb laying on the properties’ front lawn which was allowed to extend over the sidewalk by some 6” to 8” and become a hazard and danger to passersby. This branch had fallen during a storm on July 9, 2012.
The City of New York was timely notified and an inspector from the City’s Parks and Recreation Department arrived within 24 hours, assessed the situation noting that this huge fallen branch blocked the sidewalk, but did not remove it. Instead he issued a work order and for a unit of the department with equipment to return.
With the limb continuing the impede traffic on the sidewalk, the following day the homeowner and a relative removed the limb by pulling onto the front lawn and cutting off the small branches. However, the end of the branch extended over the sidewalk and formed a trap, which caught Plaintiff’s leg as he was walking by causing his fall. Workers from the City’s Parks’ Department did not return until September 24, 2012 when they chopped down most of the tree and carted off the debris including this enormous branch. As a result of this incident, our client sustained a left proximal tibial plateau fracture, which required extensive physical therapy but no surgery.