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Cruz v. New York City Transit Authority

136 A.D.2d 196 (1988)

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Cruz v. New York City Transit Authority

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division

136 A.D.2d 196 (1988)

Facts

Robert Cruz (plaintiff) was sitting on the railing of an exterior stairway landing leading to an elevated subway station. Someone brushed against Cruz, and Cruz fell to the sidewalk. Cruz brought a personal-injury action against the New York City Transit Authority (Transit Authority) (defendant), alleging that the Transit Authority was negligent in failing to design a railing that kept people from sitting on it. At trial, Cruz introduced expert testimony from an engineer who opined that the stairway and railing had not been designed in accordance with accepted engineering principles. The expert testified that the railing should have been higher, spikes should have been placed on the railing, or a wire mesh should have been placed above the railing to prevent people from sitting on the railing. The trial court would not permit the expert to testify as to whether these were design features of the elevated subway station from which Cruz fell or other elevated subway stations in the city. At the close of Cruz’s case, the trial court granted judgment in favor of the Transit Authority as a matter of law. Cruz appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bracken, J.)

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