Watch CBS News

Demanding Answers: City Finally Repairs Damaged Sidewalk In Queens

QUEENS, NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Sidewalks damaged by last winter's storms are finally being fixed in Queens.

But one homeowner says she's getting nowhere when it comes to her family's car that was crushed by a toppled tree.

It was a beyond welcoming sight in front of the Maddalena-Vigliotti home in Whitestone, Queens -- city crews finally repairing the damaged sidewalk.

"If it wasn't for you and your covering this story, nothing would've gotten done," Queens resident Anna Maddalena told CBS2's Andrea Grymes.

Two weeks ago, CBS2 reported multiple locations across Queens, where city-owned trees uprooted during storms back in March. The city had cleared the trees, but months later still hadn't fixed the sidewalks.

This week, after CBS2's reports, repairs are finally being made.

For this family, the sidewalk was not the only thing destroyed when the tree came down. They're still looking for answers from the city about one of their cars.

The 2008 red Mazda had been parked on the street in front of the house, but when the tree collapsed, the car was totaled under the weight of the limbs.

Maddalena says they had collision insurance but not comprehensive coverage, which would've covered the damage.

"Why should I be liable for that? It was the city's tree," she said.

So she filed a claim with the city comptroller's office in May. She got a letter back saying if the office is unable to resolve the claim, "any lawsuit against the city must be started within one year and 90 from the date of occurrence."

Maddalena says she then called numerous times, trying to figure out what she's supposed to do with the car, as it sits in the driveway.

"Do I have to keep the vehicle? Or can I have it sent to a junk yard?" she said. "No one has called me back."

So on Friday, CBS2 reached out to the comptroller's office and they quickly responded.

Maddalena says she got a call from the division chief, who apologized several times and promised someone would come out and assess the car by Monday. After that, they can finally get rid of it.

"I was thrilled. I was so happy, and I can't believe you did it," she said.

In a statement to CBS2 the New York City Comptroller's Office said:

"We strive to efficiently review all claims filed against the City on their merits.  Each year, the Comptroller's office processes about 30,000 new claims – and anyone who needs help navigating the claim's process, or with any other community concerns, should immediately reach out to our Community Action Center at (212) 669-3916 or email at"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.