A heartbreaking accident in the Upper West Side which claimed the life of a cherished toddler last month appears to be the result of at least one building code violation in New York. Greta Greene, a vibrant two-year old, was struck by falling bricks in Manhattan while sitting on a bench with her grandmother.
The two had stopped in front of the Esplanade Manhattan assisted living facility, just around the corner from where the grandmother, Susan Frierson lives, when a chunk of the building plummeted eight stories striking both the little girl and her grandmother. Eyewitnesses say it was as if “an evil force” simply reached up and ripped the brick window ledge down. But there’s no need for a supernatural explanation as the DOB has found negligence was the culprit.
In New York, property owners are responsible for any reasonable upkeep of the exterior of a building. Regulations require that facades be inspected for safety at least once every five years. The Department of Buildings investigated this latest falling object accident in New York and found that while the most recent inspection of the Esplanade was within that five-year timeframe, the last inspection on record prior to it was in 1999. Sixteen years ago the facade was rated “unsafe” then upgraded to “safe with maintenance”.
The DOB issued fines against the owners (Esplanade Venture Partnership) for failing to inspect and maintain the brick facade and ordered that the company install a covered sidewalk in front of the facility so that no other pedestrians will be struck by debris. In the meantime, the District Attorney’s Office is considering filing criminal charges against the company.
Nobody expects lives to be shattered by falling objects but in a vertical city full of aging brick and stone buildings such accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured from a falling object from a building , contact an expert building code violation attorney in New York City today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.