Bronx Toddler Injured in Fall from New York City Housing Administration (NYCHA) (The Projects) Apartment

A 2-year-old boy is in serious condition after he fell nine stories from his apartment window in the Bronx. According to a report in the New York Daily News, the boy fell from a rear bedroom window in the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) (The Projects) Forest Houses on Trinity Avenue near 165th St. in Morrisania, the evening of Nov. 12.

Recent Falls from Windows in NYC

The toddler’s mother and an 11-year-old girl were in the apartment when the boy tumbled from the window, which police say housed an air conditioning unit. A neighbor said she heard the boy’s mother screaming for help after her child fell out the window. The neighbor ran downstairs and saw a medic reach the child. The boy was conscious and alert when medics arrived on the scene.

He was transported to an area hospital in serious condition. Neighbors said the boy’s hands were still shaking, which they said gave them hope. Last month, a 3-year-old boy fell four stories to his death when he squeezed his way through an air conditioner’s panel in a Harlem building. About a week later, a 5-year-old boy survived a similar accident where he wedged himself between a cooling unit and the window frame and fell five flights to the ground.

Laws Governing Window Safety

There are laws that are in place in New York City precisely to prevent these types of tragic accidents. Under a city ordinance, building owners and property managers are required to install window guards if a child the age of 10 or younger lives there, or if the tenant or occupant requests window guards for any reason. Building owners and property managers who do not comply with this law can potentially face fines. Building owners and property owners are also required to install guards or limiting devices in public hallways and any other common areas in buildings where children the age 10 or younger live.

With so many fall-from-window accidents especially in apartment units that have window air-conditioning units, it is important to understand the specific city laws relating to how these window units are installed. Under city law, window frames must be sturdy and well-maintained. Only tamper-resistant and one-way screws must be used to secure window guards and limiting devices. Window stops must be used in addition to window guards on double-hung windows that leave more than four-and-a-half inches of space when the windows are opened.

The law also requires that window air-conditioning units where a child the age of 10 or younger lives must be safely installed with tamper-resistant, one-way screws. The unit must be securely bolted to the window frame without leaving any open space greater than four-and-a-half inches. Installers should also use secure rigid metal panels on either side of the unit instead of (or in addition to) accordion vinyl panels that often come with the unit, if spaces are greater than four-and-a-half inches. These metal panels must be able to withstand 150 pounds of pressure without bending or breaking.

Compensation for Victims

There are several parties that may be held liable for falls from windows. Building owners/managers have a responsibility to install approved guards and can be held liable for their failure to do so. Owners of apartments, condos, hotels and homes can be held accountable for accidents that occur on their premises. When such an accident occurs due to a defective window, screen or guard, the manufacturer, distributor or seller of a window, screen or guard can also be held accountable. In cases involving air-conditioning units, the company that installed the unit can also be held liable if they did not comply with city code for the installation.

Whether you have been living as a tenant at a private apartment complex or in a public housing unit (the Projects), please remember that you have legal rights and can file a personal injury lawsuit against the NYCHA (the Projects) or private landlords (building owners) and building managers. Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. If you have lost a loved one in such an accident, you may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If your child has suffered fall-related injuries due to someone else’s negligence (carelessness), the experienced New York personal injury attorneys with the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our firm recovered $1,100,000 as a total payout for a child who fell from a window. The landlord (property owner) in that case had not installed a window guard as required under the law.

For 50 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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