Rhode Island City Settles with Quadriplegic for Sea-Side Cliff Fall

Rhode Island City Settles with Quadriplegic for Sea-Side Cliff FallA city in Rhode Island was recently cleared of liability in a lawsuit brought by a man who became a quadriplegic when he fell on a sea-side path.

Newport settled with Simcha Berman for $2 million in regards to the August 2000 incident, according to The Associated Press. Berman was visiting the area with his wife for their honeymoon when he says the ground gave way on the Cliff Walk, causing him to fall 29 feet onto rocks below. Berman claimed that the city was negligent in its maintenance of the walk.

The Providence Journal reports that the Berman case, along with several others, is prompting lawmakers to reconsider its liability protection laws.

According to the news provider, the Recreational Use Statute has protected private entities that allow their properties to be used by the public from liability lawsuits since 1978, and in 1996 the liability protection was extended to municipalities.

This is the law that is currently under consideration for revision. One such bill, proposed by state Senator Michael J. McCaffrey, would make it easier for individuals to win property liability cases against the government, reports the Journal.