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Rat Bites NY Woman at Subway Station

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on September 12, 2011 1:08 PM

It seems that the New York subway's rat problem is on the rise. So, news that a rat bit a woman on a subway platform in downtown New York last Monday is probably not too surprising.

The unsuspecting victim was waiting at the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station at around 9:30 a.m. when the rat snuck up her and bit her on the foot, UPI reports.

She was treated at New York Downtown Hospital and released.

Was this incident simply a fluke? Unlikely, considering the Transport Workers Union Local says the rat population in New York subway stations is steadily increasing, according to UPI.

The rat population has proliferated as a result of poor sealing on trash bins and infrequent trash collection. The New York subway rat population is so large in some stations that one source called the area a complete "rat fest."

Maybe it's time the city takes heed of the rat problems.

Legally, owners of property can be held liable for accidents or injuries that occur on their property. The property owner usually must take reasonable steps to ensure that the premises are safe.

Part of what will determine what reasonable steps must be taken include whether or not the injury or accident was foreseeable.

It's arguable that because this New York woman was bit on the foot by a rat, the city should be on notice for future rat bite incidents. Maybe this means that the city should try to take reasonable steps in order to ensure that garbage is properly disposed, which might reduce the number of rat-related injuries.

After all, the next time a rat bites a woman on a subway platform, officials won't be able to argue that the incident took them by surprise. Maybe it's time to wage war on the New York subway rat problem.

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