Stairwell Collapse Injures One, Strands Dozens

On behalf of Kammholz Law PLLC posted in Premises Liability on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

A shocking accident in New York on Sept. 29 left one victim with serious injuries and dozens of others stranded on a neighborhood rooftop when a stairwell collapsed. The incident, which occurred in the lower East Side of New York City during the late-night party, may result in a premises liability case, as the stairway may have been improperly maintained. The injured victim, age 20, suffered serious wounds after he fell two stories when the staircase failed. Authorities report more than 30 partiers had gathered atop the downtown building. The majority of those revelers were trapped on the rooftop when the only access to the platform was destroyed after the stairwell collapsed. They were alerted to the emergency when one of the partiers ran into the group, exclaiming that one of the visitors may have died. The young people rushed toward the rooftop exit, but they were greeted with a gaping hole instead of an indoor stairwell. Some of the visitors were able to escape from the roof by climbing over the hole and into an acquaintance’s apartment; they then used the fire escape to reach the ground. Other stranded partygoers were lowered to the ground by high-rise buckets that were supplied by the city fire department. The partygoers said they had no reason to suspect that the building’s structure was weakened. In fact, the building looked just like any other they had been in. Most of the visitors were shocked to learn that such a severe accident occurred. The owner of the building, Sasha Realty LLC / Beach Lane Mgmt., has been cited for a serious violation by the city’s Environmental Control Board. Representatives from that company have not issued a statement. Apartment building owners are responsible for maintaining the living conditions and safety within their facilities. When staircases and other major fixtures fail, maintenance problems become glaringly obvious. Victims who have been wounded in building collapses and other facility malfunctions may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries, time away from work and pain and suffering. In this case, the injured man may consider seeking compensation from the building manager and owner to pay for his medical bills. Source: www.nydailynews.com, “East Village stairwell collapse sends man falling two stories, traps more than 30 college partygoers on roof” Joseph Stephansky, Edgar Sandoval & Tina Moore, Sep. 29, 2013