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Woman sustains fatal injuries after falling down subway stairs

In Georgia and elsewhere in the country, business owners have a legal responsibility to keep areas accessible to the public as safe as possible. In one incident involving a subway in New York City, a 22-year-old woman reportedly took a tumble down a flight of stairs and died from her injuries. She was said to be carrying her baby in a stroller at the time the accident occurred. The subway station is one of hundreds in New York City without an elevator.

Issues with premises liability have yet to be discussed. However, the New York Times reports that the woman was unconscious when assistance arrived. Her infant daughter was conscious and taken to family members.

It's estimated that about a quarter of the city's subway stations already have elevators although they are frequently in need of repair. Disability advocates have long complained about the lack of alternative access points in the NYC subway system for individuals unable to use stairs or escalators.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or MTA, the public benefit corporation responsible for New York's subway stations, plans to step up efforts to install more elevators. Their goal is to reach a point where riders won't have to go for more than two stops without finding an elevator-accessible station. In 2017, the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York took legal action against MTA for its failure to install elevators, noting that subway inaccessibility poses risks for many people, including mothers with strollers, people in wheelchairs, the elderly and the disabled.

If premises liability becomes an issue should any litigation result from the incident in the subway, a lawyer may build a case against the MTA based on a failure to respond to previous complaints about accessibility. With similar situations involving personal injuries, an attorney may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other types of damages. Responsible parties might include property owners and individuals or separate third parties who handle maintenance duties. If the injured party dies, a wrongful death claim may become an option.

Source: Jezebel, "A Young Woman Fell and Died Trying to Carry Her Baby's Stroller In a Subway Station With No Elevator ," Anna Merlan, January 29, 2019

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