Two toddlers — ages 3 years and 2 years — were severely injured in separate incidents after they fell out of apartment windows. According to NBC New York, a 3-year-old girl suffered a terrifying fall from the sixth-floor window of a Manhattan apartment complex, while a 2-year-old is recovering from a fifth-floor window plunge in Queens the same day.
Police said the 3-year-old child fell out the window of a building run by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) (the Projects) off West 26th Street in Chelsea. She was critically injured and transported to an area hospital. A passerby said he was walking by and saw something fall and soon realized it was a little girl. He said she landed on the grass. NBC reported that the window the child fell from did not appear to have a window guard. After the incident, NYCHA workers were seen trying to install one, but it was the wrong size, NBC reported.
A NYCHA spokesperson said window guards were installed on all windows when the child’s family had moved into the apartment in January 2023. NYCHA staff visited the apartment last week for unrelated repairs and performed an inspection, which found all window guards were in place, the statement said. It is not clear what happened to the window guards in that time period.
In the Queens case, police said a 2-year-old girl was found lying in a grassy area on Seagirt Boulevard with injuries indicative of a fall. The investigation found she fell from a fifth-story apartment window. She was transported to a hospital in stable condition. It is not clear if that apartment had window guards. Both investigations are ongoing.
NYC Window Guard Laws
New York City requires property owners/managers to make sure window guards are properly installed in dwellings. They are also required under the law to send an annual notice to tenants of multiple dwellings to determine if window guards are required. Property owners and property managers must 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.
A landlord (building owner) or a building manager must install window guards in an apartment even if there are no children 10 years of age or younger living there if its tenant or occupant requests for the window guards in writing. For example, grandparents who have visiting children, parents who share custody or occupants who provide childcare services may wish to request window guards, even though they may not have a child permanently living with them.
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.
Premises Liability Issues
There are several parties who may be held liable for falls from windows. Building owners and managers who have a responsibility to install proper 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.
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, lost income and benefits, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families that have lost loved ones can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well.
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 (building owner) 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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy 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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