Winter brings with it a lot of challenges in the Northeast-most of them dangerous to travelers and pedestrians during the icy months. While we’re all cautious of snow-slicked streets and ice-covered sidewalks, one danger is sitting right above our heads. Roof collapses during the winter months are far more common than you may think.
When there are successive storms without a period of thawing between, snow and ice build up on roofs across the City. When the pressure gets too much, roof supports give way. These roof and ceiling collapses and can lead to devastating accidents and injuries including spinal cord injuries which can result in permanent disability and life-long paralysis.
Just last year, The Smith Haven Mall in Long Island was evacuated because officials feared that the heavy load of snow and ice on the roof was too much for the structure to bear. You’d think that maintenance workers and mall officials would be on top of snow removal but when firefighters responded they found snow drifts over seven feet high!
Any snow can be dangerous, weighing up to fifteen pounds per cubic foot. When ice and rain fall on top of existing snow pack, they add considerable weight while seemingly reducing the volume. As a result, many property owners may think that their roofs are safe but be dramatically underestimating the danger.
This has caused some disaster relief agencies in the Northeast to issue warnings to property owners. Disaster officials warn that publically accessible buildings such as retails stores and apartment complexes are at much higher risk because their flat roofs are often constructed in such a way that don’t allow for proper drainage. If property owners fail to remove the excess weight, a roof collapse could be inevitable.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a roof or ceiling collapse in a public or apartment building, you could be awarded financial compensation for your injuries. A New York Attorney specializing in ceiling collapses can help you build your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.