Slip and Fall on Pigeon Droppings Nets Ex-Doorman $6M

January 2, 2008 ( - A former New York City apartment house doorman, injured in a 1998 slip and fall on a pile of pigeon droppings on the steps of a city subway station, has been awarded $6.13 million in damages.

The New York Post reported that a New York state jury made the award to ex-doorman Shelton Stewart, 56, after a three-week trial. The award was actually $7.6 million, but was reduced after the jury found Stewart 20% liable for not avoiding the pigeon droppings.

The Post report said the ex-doorman suffered a broken neck and back injuries from the tumble. Stewart wound up with two broken bones in his neck and one in his back, along with herniated discs and a bruise to his spinal cord, his lawyer noted in the news report.

“I was dead twice,” Stewart, who now uses a walker to get around, told the Post. “I was saved. I guess God has a whole lot for me to do.”

He added, “Nobody should have to go through what I went through.”

Stewart subsequently underwent several surgeries to get bolts and plates placed in his neck, deal with a life-threatening infection, and remove the herniated discs.

Now divorced, he told the Post he was thinking of using his windfall to buy a house and take his two daughters and grandchild to Disney World.

The city Transit Authority’s lawyer, Jane Barrett, unsuccessfully argued in court that Stewart had changed his story, first saying he had slipped on a greasy substance, and then later claiming it was pigeon feces, the Post reported.