The needler in the haystack.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Are Plainfield Seniors safe at the Senior Center? (Sidewalks)

Gap presents a liability issue for the City.

While Plainfield's senior citizen program has been operating in a modern, city-owned space built especially to its own specifications for a number of years now, some Seniors have called several issues to my attention.

Among them is a settlement of the sidewalk in front of the building as you approach the main entrance. The subsidence runs for a stretch of several feet, leaving a gap between the pavement and the fake brick that is dangerous for those walking toward the entrance.

With the City of Plainfield paying out thousands of dollars annually in slip-and-fall settlements, this is a risk management issue that cries out to be addressed.

The situation is complicated though, because while the City is the owner of the condominium unit in which the Senior program is housed, it is not clear who has responsibility for correcting the situation.

While New Jersey courts have recently ruled that owners of a property are responsible for slip-and-falls, in this litigious society, one could reasonably expect the city would be sued in the event someone turned an ankle and fell.

Perhaps we can be thankful that City Council members don't make a habit of visiting the Senior Center or there would be more for them to complain about if any of them took a tumble.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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