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Virginia King, Goldberg, Miller & Rubin

Exterior premises liability cases usually begin with the premise that the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk has primary responsibility for the sidewalk, while the municipality’s liability is secondary. Storm drains are often installed underneath a portion of the sidewalk, but are maintained and inspected much more often by the municipality water department, which typically cleans and clears the drains on a yearly basis. Some drains are now also used by utility companies to run lines underground, adding to the wear and tear of the sidewalk stone above the drain. In addition to Stephen King’s Pennywise, poor workmanship below can also cause erosion of the subsurface which can cause a depression in the asphalt.

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