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NYC Auto Accident Lawyers / Blog / Personal Injury / New York Could Force Buildings to Get Rid of Sidewalk Sheds – But at What Cost?

New York Could Force Buildings to Get Rid of Sidewalk Sheds – But at What Cost?


Many New Yorkers have accepted sidewalk sheds as just another part of life in the Big Apple. Walk down virtually any street in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, and you’re almost guaranteed to pass under at least one sidewalk shed. For those who don’t know, sidewalk sheds primarily protect pedestrians from falling debris, and this debris has the potential to cause serious or even fatal injuries. Today, Mayor Eric Adams is calling for the removal of these sidewalk sheds on a wide scale. But what effect could this have on pedestrian safety?

New York Mayor Plans to Get Rid of Construction Sheds 

To be fair, Mayor Eric Adams raises some valid points in his push to rid New York of its pedestrian shed “scourge.” He points out that the sheds are eyesores, robbing the city of its physical beauty. He also points out that these dimly-lit areas are natural magnets for criminal activities. Their roofs may block out surveillance cameras, giving criminals free reign to conduct illegal activities under these shelters. This could potentially put pedestrians in danger – perhaps more so than falling debris. Finally, he points out that the sheds may discourage pedestrians from visiting local businesses.

Understanding Why Sidewalk Sheds Are in Place 

But sidewalk sheds are in place for a reason. They protect pedestrians against falling debris, and they are often constructed beside buildings with unsafe facades. These buildings may have caused injuries in the past. Getting rid of them, therefore, would potentially increase the risk of danger for average pedestrians in the New York area. One might argue that these sheds are necessary as a result.

Common Complaints About Sidewalk Sheds

 Average New Yorkers raise their own complaints about sidewalk sheds. Concerned pedestrians point out that putting up these sheds is easier and cheaper than fixing the root of the problem. Instead of repairing facades and making their buildings safe, property owners prefer to put up “cheap and cheerful” sheds that protect them from liability. Others state that the sheds are left in place for far too long, and that they could be removed faster.

Can You Sue for Falling Debris in New York? 

If you have been injured by falling debris in New York, you can seek compensation from the property owner of the dangerous building. This debris might fall from a dangerous facade, a construction site, or any other source of hazard. These lawsuits have a track record of success, and the first sheds started appearing in New York directly after the death of a college student in 1980. Grace Gold was her name, and she was killed by falling debris that came off a badly-maintained building.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in Brooklyn? 

If you have been injured by falling debris while walking, your best bet is to get in touch with a qualified, experienced New York personal injury attorney. Reach out to Cohan Law, PLLC to discuss your legal options and get started with an effective action plan. By filing a premise liability lawsuit, it is possible to pursue compensation for medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and many other damages. Reach out today.



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