A five-story parking garage in Murray Hill partially collapsed injuring a pedestrian and damaging two parked cars. According to a report in The Real Deal, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) said its inspectors were called to the scene at 205 East 38th Street in midtown Manhattan to investigate a partial facade collapse. The department’s inspectors found that a 45-by-10-foot section of bricks had collapsed from the parapet level of the garage’s facade onto the sidewalk.
Injury and Damage
News outlets report that the falling bricks injured a pedestrian and damaged two parked cars. The DOB ordered the property owner to immediately install a sidewalk shed. The agency’s investigation is still ongoing. The Real Deal reports that the property owner had been issued a violation in September 2019 for failing to correct defects in the elevator. The building currently has seven open violations related to the elevator.
This is the second building collapse to occur in New York City within a span of one week. On July 1, a building that housed Body Elite Gym collapsed in Brooklyn. The DOB had issued a partial stop-work order because a brick wall was dangerously bulging over the sidewalk. That building had violations related to cracks in the building’s facade in November 2019. The agency’s inspectors and engineers are also investigating the cause of that collapse. Thankfully no one was injured in that building collapse.
Why Building Collapses Occur?
There are a number of reasons why a facade collapse such as this happens. However, one of the most important causes of these incidents is the building owner, manager and/or other responsible party’s failure to properly maintain the building. If there are loose bricks or unstable portions of the facade, landlords (building owners) and other responsible parties should have them fixed right away and construct sidewalk sheds, nets, or scaffolding to prevent the loose facades 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 result in fatalities.
General construction companies, managing agents, building owners, some contractors and sub-contractors have a responsibility to ensure that facades, scaffolds and other structures are properly secured so they don’t pose a danger to workers, visitors or pedestrians at or near the premises. If you have been injured as the result of poorly maintained or poorly secured facades or as a result of buildings that are not structurally sound, 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.
Workers who are injured in construction accidents will be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical and drug expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against responsible parties, and thus have two sources of compensation. Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, 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.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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