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Premises liability: Helicopter rescue leads to negligence claim

Cities in the state of New York and across the country could face civil lawsuits if they are accused of negligence. Premises liability claims typically involve pedestrians injured in slip-and-fall accidents due to damaged sidewalks and pavements, most frequently during the winter, when snow and ice pose hazards. From time to time, cities are held responsible for unusual occurrences, such as the case of an insane June helicopter rescue in another state.

Reportedly, a 74-year-old woman suffered injuries when she fell during a mountain hike. Her husband called the nearest fire department because he was unable to help his wife down the mountain. Rescuers arrived with a helicopter, and she was promptly loaded into a basket attached to the helicopter. This was when something went wrong, and the basket started spinning. It was reported that the basket spun at about 150 revolutions per minute.

News reports at the time indicated that the helicopter trip caused the woman no injuries. However, she advised the city that subsequent medical problems were linked to the incident. These include soft tissue swelling in her skull, spinal cord damage, auditory canal bleeding and bruising and swelling around her eyes, racking up medical bills totaling almost $300,000. She indicated her intention to file a negligence lawsuit claiming $2 million, and the city has 60 days to respond or reject the claim.

Filing a lawsuit against a city in New York state is complicated, with more legal intricacies than claims filed against individuals. For that reason, an experienced personal injury attorney handles most premises liability or other negligence claims against cities. Utilizing the skills of legal counsel typically improves the chances of recovering maximum damages.

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