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Tobin v. City of New York

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department

December 17, 1998

Tobin
v.
City of New York

Page 528

Stephen C. Glasser, for Plaintiffs-Respondent-Appellants.

Dona B. Morris, for Defendant-Appellant-Respondent.

Before NARDELLI, J.P., WALLACH, RUBIN and WILLIAMS, JJ.

MEMORANDUM DECISION.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Phyllis Gangel-Jacob, J.), entered September 24, 1997, which, upon a jury verdict, awarded plaintiffs the principal sum of $250,000, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff firefighter proved his cause of action under General Municipal Law § 205-a by demonstrating that a violation of New York City Administrative Code § 26-235 caused him harm, either directly or indirectly (see, O'Connell v. Kavanagh, 231 A.D.2d 29, 32, 662 N.Y.S.2d 1). Bearing in mind that General Municipal Law § 205-a is to be given "a liberal construction to accomplish its salutary purpose" (see, id. at 30, 662 N.Y.S.2d 1), we find the connection between the cited statutory violation and plaintiff's injury was sufficiently reasonable to support the verdict (see, id. at 34, 662 N.Y.S.2d 1). In this connection, we decline to give New York City Administrative Code § 26-235 (which applies by its terms to "Any * * * part of a structure or premises that from any cause may at any time become * * * a fire hazard", the narrow reading urged by the municipal defendant). As to the cross appeal, we decline to direct an additur, since we find that the damages awarded do not represent a material deviation from what is reasonable compensation under the circumstances (see, CPLR 5501[c] ).


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