A New York City Firefighter broke his leg when he fell down a staircase during firefighting operations at one of the Co-Op City buildings in the Bronx. As he started to fall, he reached out to grab for a handrail he expected to be on his right but there was no handrail on that side to grab onto. That’s because this staircase had only a handrail on the left side instead of two handrails that SPBMC determined was required under the Multiple Dwelling Law given that this staircase was wider than 44-inches, the limit for allowing only one handrail.
Despite the fact that the defendant never proved only one handrail was required, the Supreme Court dismissed the case and that dismissal was affirmed by the Appellate Division. But SPBMC managed to get the case to the New York Court of Appeals in Albany where on September 6, 2018, the Court of Appeals reversed and reinstated the lawsuit. Now this Firefighter will now have a fair opportunity to let the jury decide whether Co-Op City violated the law by having only one handrail on its staircase. Vito A. Cannavo represented the Firefighter in the Supreme Court, and Stephen C. Glasser represented him on appeal.
Sullivan Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. has won many jury verdicts and achieved substantial settlements on behalf of New York City Firefighters (and Police Officers, too) who have been injured or killed while in the line of duty because of a violation of a statute or Building Code regulation.