Falling Building Debris Poses Safety Risk to New York Pedestrians
One New York City woman’s death caused by falling debris has shined a light on safety infractions of hundreds of other city buildings, according to The New York Times.
Sixty-year-old architect Erica L. Tishman was killed after a piece of debris fell from a building she was walking past in December of 2019. The city’s Department of Buildings issued the owners of the 17-story office building a fine in April of that year because the terra cotta facade above the 15th floor was deteriorating and could potentially break off, putting pedestrians in danger. Himmel + Meringoff Properties, the building’s owner, paid the $1,250 fine but apparently did not repair the problem.
After Tishman’s death, the Department of Buildings launched surprise inspections at the city’s buildings, finding 220 other structures in violation. The Department issued a number of Class 1 facade violations, which are “immediately hazardous” to pedestrians but are not necessarily major violations. Class 1 violations include loose masonry, bricks, or stones on the building’s exterior, or cracks in its facade that could injure passersby.
Falling debris, whether from a construction site or from shoddy masonry, can potentially pose serious health risks to workers or pedestrians. As was the case with Tishman, who died before first responders even arrived at the scene, head injuries are the most common and most severe results of falling debris. The victim might experience a traumatic brain injury such as a concussion or contusion, paralysis, a spinal cord injury, or even blindness. They might also need treatment for cuts, bruises, broken bones, and neck injuries.
When someone is injured on another person’s property, due to the property owner’s willful negligence or irresponsibility, the victim or victim’s family can file a premises liability lawsuit. In this type of suit, the plaintiff must show that:
- they were on the defendant’s property legally
- the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident but for some reason didn’t fix it or provide ample warning
- the property owner’s negligence caused the victim’s injury
When a pedestrian is injured by a falling object, they are eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit to win compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the pedestrian died because of their injury, their family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact a New York Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were injured by a piece of falling debris, you might be eligible to file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP have years of experience representing injured pedestrians and want to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Call Hach & Rose, LLP or contact us online to receive a free consultation.