Air conditioners. New Yorkers pass under them every day, oblivious to the danger that's hanging precariously over their heads. Injuries caused by falling objects from apartments and buildings are often covered under New York premises liability law and injured parties can bring civil lawsuits against at fault parties. But just how common is it for a person to be struck by say, a falling air conditioner?
28-year old Chloe Pinkerton was strolling down East 100th Street with her boyfriend late last month when an air conditioner plummeted from above and nearly crushed her to death. The hunk of metal fell from the sixth floor window and crashed to the sidewalk below, striking Pinkerton as it fell. Eyewitnesses said there was blood "everywhere."
As shocking as this accident was, it could have been much worse. Air conditioners weigh in excess of 40 pounds and dropping from such a height can pick up a massive amount of kinetic energy that can be devastating to anyone standing below. They hit the earth, and anything below them, like a cannon ball.
Indeed, Pinkerton could have been killed, but thankfully her injuries weren't that serious. Still, the machine did hit her in the head, scrape along her arm, and smash into her leg. The terrifying accident left her with 21 stitches, deep bruising, and other wounds. Pinkerton was shaken by her ordeal but also relieved that she was not injured more severely.
So far there has been no word from the tenant of the apartment though a representative did say that the air conditioner was in the process of removed from the window when it fell.
New York law requires that all air conditioners installed in building six stories or higher be supported by a bracket. It is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the unit is properly installed, remains secured, and that the bracket is in good repair.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a similar falling object accident, contact a New York City premises law liability lawyer immediately to protect your rights to recover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 .