New York law requires stairs to have handrails


On October 12, 2015, our client, then 72 years old, arrived at her home in Brooklyn, after returning from grocery shopping with her husband.  As she was walking up the exterior steps to her apartment, she lost her balance and fell backwards.  As she fell, she attempted to grab onto something to regain her balance, but there were no handrails on either side of the staircase.  Due to the lack of handrails, and due to the stairs’ treads and risers not being proportional in height and width, the stairs were extremely dangerous, causing our client to fall down approximately four steps, landing on the sidewalk, and sustaining severe injuries to her left ankle.
Because of the lack of handrails, and because the stairs’ treads and risers were disproportional in height and width, the stairs were in  violation of the New York City Building Code and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.
After our client fell, an ambulance arrived on the scene and brought her to the emergency room of Maimonides Medical Center.
Our client suffered a comminuted tri-malleolar fracture of her distal tibia and fibula requiring surgery.  The surgery consisted of an open reduction and internal fixation of the fractured left tibia and fibula using using a Zimmer periarticular plate which was placed over the lateral malleolus and secured with cortical bone screws.
Shortly before trial, Schulman Blitz, LLP settled the case for $185,000.