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Mother Who Dies on Subway Stairs Sheds Light on Unsafe Conditions


The New York Times is reporting that a young mother died Monday night after falling down a flight of subway stairs in Midtown Manhattan. Police claimed she was carrying her one-year-old daughter in a stroller at the time, who survived the accident.

The woman is being reported as 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson of Stamford, Connecticut. Early reports indicate that she fell in the Seventh Avenue subway station at 53rd street close to 8 p.m. and was taken to Mount Sinai West hospital after officers at the scene deemed her unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the hospital later than night, according to police.

Although it is not clear at this time whether Malaysia Goodson suffered from any preexisting medical conditions that might have affected her at the time of the fall, many officials are already condemning this incident as indicative of ongoing issues with New York City’s subway system. Lack of elevator service and accessibility were brought up almost immediately following her death, as she was forced to carry her baby’s stroller down the stairs.

The Seventh Avenue Station where Malaysia Goodson fell is among the roughly 75% of New York subway stations without an elevator. Many of the elevators that do exist, meanwhile, suffer from frequent malfunctions. A recent survey actually found that existing subway elevators break down 53 times a year on average. To make things worse, these elevators are mostly small, often dirty, and frequently located at the far end of train stations.

Even Mayor Bill de Blasio recently stated on Twitter that, “The subway system is not accessible for everyone, and that’s an environment the M.T.A. should not allow.”

The Malaysia Goodson story comes on the heels of a lawsuit from 2017 against the Metropolitan Transit Authority, in which the subway station was described as “one of the least accessible in the country,” to quote the Times. The suit also accused the M.T.A of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Justice Department came onboard the case in 2018, and is currently working in conjunction with the group Disability Rights Advocates to represent the plaintiffs.

However, it is not just people with disabilities who have found the subway difficult to navigate. As Malaysia Goodson’s story sadly demonstrates, the system is particularly difficult for mothers and other caregivers of young children who are forced to carry infants up and down the stairs in addition to strollers and other childcare necessities.

Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, founder of the Up-Stanbd organization, which aims to make life in the city easier for parents, told the Times that bulky equipment is often unavoidable during a child’s first few years of life. “There’s this period of time, where between maybe one year old and, like, four, where your child can’t really physically make a complete trip on their own two legs,” she said. Christine Ann Denny, a mother of two children and a professor at Columbia University, echoed this sentiment, claiming that she moved to New Jersey in part because of the subway. “Carrying a stroller, my briefcase for work, my daughter and her backpack with bottles for day care — it was a nightmare,” she said.

Don’t Let Subway Accidents Stop You From Living Your, Life Hire an Attorney Today

At Belushin Law Firm, P.C., our Brooklyn subway accident attorneys are committed to holding New York accountable for its lack of transit oversight. Tragedies like what happened to Malaysia Goodson should never occur, and regardless of whether the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the city, or another negligent party is ultimately found responsible, her family deserves compensation for their pain and suffering. From slip and fall accidents to wrongful death cases, our firm is committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive legal assistance to all victims, and if necessary, fighting for justice in court. Don’t let yourself or a loved one become another victim of the New York City subway system. Contact Belushin Law Firm today, for personal injury representation you can trust.

We are available by phone at (888) 918-9890, or you can contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We have offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan for your convenience.

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