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Pedestrian Injured by Falling Basket Designed to Protect Passersby From Falling Subway Debris

A metal basket struck a pedestrian Sunday, August 2, seriously injuring them and sending them to Jamaica Hospital for treatment. This type of basket is attached to the undersides of elevated subways throughout New York City and is designed to catch debris that often falls loose from the tracks.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), construction crews were working on the East New York J and Z line tracks at the time of the accident, around 11:45 a.m. The pedestrian, whose identity has not been released, was walking near the intersection of Fulton St. and Alabama Avenue when the basket fell on them, according to the Daily News.

The protective metal baskets were only installed last year after the MTA received numerous reports of debris falling on pedestrians. But as soon as last October, the MTA found that the baskets were not as trustworthy as they should have been and were not working as designed. The Daily News reported that there are 325,000 metal baskets installed for the 168 miles of elevated subway tracks in New York City.

Last October, the MTA issued a rapid inspection of all 325,000 baskets after a 15-piece hunk of metal fell from the tracks and crashed through a parked car. The inspection found over 2 million pieces of debris that could potentially fall and not be caught by the baskets, according to the Daily News. The MTA had planned to replace the metal baskets with safer, more reliable netting throughout the city, but the coronavirus pandemic put this plan on hold.

As the plan for netting replacements waits out a persistent pandemic, more instances of falling debris and even falling baskets are likely to occur. New Yorkers can potentially sue the MTA, or any government entity, if they are injured as a result of that entity’s negligence or failure to act responsibly. But there are generally many rules and deadlines to keep in mind if you plan to sue a government entity such as the MTA.

Filing a Notice of Claim

If you suffered an injury caused by the MTA, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the injury. Family members can also file a Notice of Claim for the wrongful death of another family member. The Notice of Claim is an official document that includes information such as:

  • The victim’s name and address, and the name and address of their attorney
  • The time and location of where the injury or accident occurred
  • The circumstances surrounding this claim
  • The type and degree of injuries sustained

After the government receives this claim, they will have 30 days to respond with a request for a hearing. During this hearing, the victim or their family will testify under oath to the circumstances of their injury. Then, the victim or their family can file a legal suit against the MTA (or other entity).

Contact a New York Accident Attorney

If you were injured by falling subway debris or injured on public transit due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to compensation. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP can help you sort out the facts of your case and understand how much it might be worth. Our attorneys have spent years winning compensation for our clients after they sustained injuries and want to do the same for you. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 to schedule your free consultation.


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