Late last month a Dominican woman became the victim of a bizarre staircase accident in Manhattan when she slipped and fell to her death. She was visiting friends in an apartment building in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Inwood when she, somehow, fell down a flight of stairs and then tumbled through a window. She fell five stories to the pavement below and was declared dead by rescue crews when they arrived on scene.
67-year-old Francisca Fernandez was descending from the sixth floor of 221 Sherman Avenue on May 22nd at around 8:30 PM when the stairwell accident occurred. Initially, investigators were working under the assumption that she had jumped from the window. However, evidence inside and eyewitness reports confirmed that she either tripped or slipped on the stairs before plunging out the improperly secured window.
Friends and family members say that the accident could have been prevented. New York City building codes require that safety guards be in place on any windows in buildings home to children under ten years old. However, as photos taken immediately after this latest stairway accident in Manhattan confirm, no such guards were in place at the time. However, guards appeared on the window in question within hours the morning after.
This detail may play a significant part in a civil lawsuit which may be filed in this case. If the landlord or building owner is indeed found negligent, they could be held liable for the victim’s death and may owe financial restitution to the victim’s surviving family members. In addition, the New York Department of Buildings could issue citations and order the building owner to pay fines.
If you’ve been injured in an apartment staircase, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a qualified New York City staircase accident attorney immediately to discuss the legal options available to you. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.