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Opinion

Pigeons could cost New Yorkers dear

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Residents and visitors to New York will try to sue the city for just about anything. Civil litigation against the City of New York has increased by 2,500% since 1978 and its tort division handles over 90,000 cases a year. The latest figures, for 2003, show this cost the city's taxpayers $500 million.

In one recent case, a drunken man tried to sue when he fell down stairs outside his house after being arrested for assaulting his wife after she refused to make him dinner.

In that case, the jury found for the city. However, given that there seems no end to the inventiveness of claimants, NYC's law department should be made aware of a new hazard that could threaten pedestrians on the streets of the Big Apple.

Just last month, during a particularly cold snap, a contact of Euromoney's narrowly missed being struck by a frozen pigeon, falling off a 15-storey building near Union Square. Had impact occurred, the effect could have been catastrophic. It's clearly in the public interest, and that of taxpayers, to be made aware of this new danger. 

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