A man was hospitalized with multiple injuries after a portion of a Brooklyn building’s facade fell on top of him as he walked along the sidewalk, crushing him. According to an NBC New York news report, the incident occurred the afternoon of July 22 and was captured by surveillance footage, which was obtained by the NBC affiliate. Police said a 39-year-old man was walking down St. Johns Place in Crown Heights when debris and bricks fell from above on top of him.
Serious Injuries Sustained
The video shows the man walking close to the building and stopping briefly, which is when the facade collapsed down onto the sidewalk. The man was rushed to a local hospital where, according to his wife, he suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his ribs and shoulder. He was listed in serious but stable condition. A friend of the injured man said he was not talking and was unconscious at the scene.
The New York City Department of Buildings was notified afterward and crews were seen on the roof inspecting where the facade had failed. The city confirmed to NBC that illegal work without obtaining proper permits had been done on the building. Officials issued violations for the unpermitted work and for failure to maintain the building, and the owner was instructed to put up a sidewalk shed as soon as possible.
Recent Facade-Related Incidents
This facade collapse comes after a slew of similar incidents that have occurred citywide recently, with some proving fatal. Just a day before this incident, a piece of the East River Esplanade collapsed as a sinkhole opened up right over the water. On July 16, a worker died and three others were injured after a piece of a building’s molding fell onto a scaffold in Manhattan. That occurred just blocks away from the site of a four-story building collapse earlier that day. Two days before, a wall of a multi-story home in Brooklyn caved into an alleyway spewing debris and causing major damage, but no injuries.
Facade collapses in New York City occur due to a number of reasons. Many of these incidents stem from the building owner’s or property manager’s and/or other responsible party’s failure to properly maintain the structure. As buildings age, facades get weaker. Weather such as the freeze-thaw cycle and heavy winds may also affect facades. Therefore, it is important that they are constantly monitored and maintained as required by the city codes.
When portions of the facade become unstable, landlords (building owners) and other responsible parties should work to fix them right away and construct sidewalk sheds, nets, or scaffolding to prevent the unstable parts of the facade from seriously injuring passersby. Such accidents have the potential to cause major, if not catastrophic, injuries such as head trauma, spinal cord damage, multiple broken bones, internal injuries, etc. And as we have seen in recent accidents, they can cause fatal injuries as well.
General construction companies, managing agents, building owners, some contractors and sub-contractors have a responsibility to ensure that facades, scaffolds and other structures at a construction site are properly secured so they don’t pose a danger to workers, visitors or pedestrians at or near the worksite. If you have been injured as the result of poorly maintained or poorly secured facades, please understand that you have legal rights.
In such cases, injured bystanders or passersby can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injury, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc. Liable parties may include construction companies, general contractors, sub-contractors, property or building owners/managers, manufacturers of defective products, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Whether you are a construction worker who has suffered injuries at a construction site or a bystander or pedestrian who has been injured by falling debris, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. 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 medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been 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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