A 2-year-old boy died from his injuries after falling out of a sixth floor window at a Brooklyn apartment complex. According to a CBS New York news report, the incident occurred the morning of Sept. 23. Police said the boy’s parents were sleeping inside the apartment on Eldert Lane when the toddler fell out a window that did not have window guards.
Emergency personnel rushed the boy to Brookdale Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said there were other people in the apartment at the time including other children. It is not clear why the window did not have a window guard. The Health Department is investigating the incident. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the child’s family.
Why Window Guards Are Important
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that falls from windows result in about eight deaths each year, affecting children 5 years old and younger. The federal agency also says that about 3,300 children ages 5 and younger are treated each year in U.S. hospital emergency departments from fall related injuries. These types of injuries and fatalities frequently occur when children push themselves against window screens or climb onto furniture located next to an open window.
Each year, young children are either severely injured or killed in falls from unguarded windows. It is a fact that these tragic injuries and deaths are preventable. In New York City, homeowners have a responsibility to ensure that window guards are properly installed. Local authorities have the authority to issue violations for failure to install window guards.
New York City Laws
New York City law also requires that owners send an annual notice to tenants of multiple dwellings to determine if window guards are required. Property owners and/or property managers are required to provide and install approved guards on all windows including first floor bathrooms and windows leading onto a balcony or terrace in an apartment where a child 10 years of age or younger resides, and in each common area window, if any, in such buildings.
The law also states that if tenants wish to have window guards installed, the property owner/property manager should install them. For example, if you are a grandparent who has children visiting, a parent who shares custody or a childcare provider, you may wish to request window guards.
Window guards approved by the NYC Department of Health (DOH) must be installed according to specifications in all windows, including bathroom windows, except any window providing access to fire escapes. For buildings with fire escapes above the first and ground floors, but none below, one window must be left unguarded to allow for a secondary exit from the apartment under NYC Building department rule 4.10. If a property owner or property manager is negligent (careless) in this regard, he or she can be held financially responsible for any accidents or injuries that occur due to the lack of a window guard.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
There are several parties who may be held liable for falls from windows. Building owners and managing agents who have a responsibility to install appropriate guards 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.
Injured victims in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, hospitalization, lost wages and benefits, 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.
Compensation for Victims
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 in that case had not installed a window guard as required under the law. 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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