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Quadriplegic can sue over R.I. Cliff Walk

April 21, 2010 at 11:06 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 21 (UPI) -- The Rhode Island Supreme Court says a New York man can sue the city of Newport for a honeymoon accident that left him a quadriplegic.

In a decision handed down Tuesday, the high court ruled 3-2 in favor of Simcha Berman, The Providence Journal reported. Berman was 23 in 2000 when he was paralyzed by a 29-foot fall on the Cliff Walk, a scenic path promoted as a tourist attraction.

"The evidence produced in this case demonstrates that the city had actual or constructive knowledge of the perilous circumstances, and having been afforded a reasonable amount of time to eliminate the dangerous condition, failed to do so," Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg wrote for the majority.

The two dissenting justices said they believe Newport is protected by the state's Recreational Use Act, which encourages landowners to allow the public on their property and protects them from liability.

Berman and his wife, who joined him in the suit, divorced two years later because he could no longer follow the Orthodox Jewish mandate to have a large family.

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