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Recent verdict in a municipal negligence claim serves justice

New York City performs a wide variety of functions for its citizens, ranging from police protection to mass transit services. That range of activity requires an equally extensive set of general municipal laws. These laws define not only the scope of city services, but also what might constitute negligence in the performance of municipal duties.

These laws are parameters, rather than an exhaustive listing. Even the best intentions of lawmakers cannot contemplate every scenario where a municipal worker's services to a New York citizen might be negligent. In such situations, a claim of municipal negligence must establish the standard of care, how the behaviors of the city employee breached that standard, and causation between that breach and the injuries suffered by the citizen.

In a recent example, The O’Connor Law Firm obtained a verdict of over $6 million dollars in a municipal negligence claim. The case involved a transit rider who suffered injuries from a prolonged attack. A transit employee observed the attack from inside a station booth, but apparently did not bother to even call for help.

This situation begs the question: what would you have done? Our law firm has the greatest respect for municipal workers. Chances are that you know a municipal worker, perhaps a friend or neighbor. While the movies may depict feats of superhuman ability, it would be unrealistic to expect the municipal worker in this story to have intervened and risked personal danger.

At a minimum, however, most of us would likely have sought help, or called for help on the victim's behalf. This reasonable person standard goes to the heart of negligence claims, and it may explain why our New York City personal injury law firm was able to obtain such an impressive outcome for our client.

Source: FindLaw, “New York General Municipal Law - GMU,” copyright 2016, Thomson Reuters

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