Every time a New Yorker walks down a city street, there is danger lurking above them because of the danger of falling debris and objects (like air conditioners and bricks). Age and disrepair are the root cause of these potential disasters. A recent sidewalk accident in Manhattan showcased that danger.
On August 12th a piece of concrete fell from high atop the Presbyterian church on 114th Street in the Manhattan neighborhood of Morningside Heights. The concrete-which broke free from the church’s bell tower-plummeted from multiple stories up and injured a young man walking along the sidewalk below. Bystanders called emergency services and when EMTs arrived the victim was miraculously alive and alert.
He was treated and released from nearby St. Luke’s Hospital. Witnesses to the frightening sidewalk accident in Manhattan said he is lucky to be alive. It appears as if the concrete struck part of the church (which is 104 years old) and a tree branch as it fell but before it hit the victim. Those impacts likely knocked a great deal of momentum from the chunk of rock and probably saved the young man’s life.
A building inspector arrived on the scene and used a fire truck ladder to examine the church’s facade. He discovered several potentially lethal fractures high up in the building’s structure. As wind, rain, and ice take their toll on older buildings in New York, it’s not uncommon for these fractures to go unnoticed until chunks of the building begin to fall. The inspector recommended that repairs begin immediately to prevent another sidewalk accident in Morningside heights and the pastor of the church has vowed to do just that.
A 30-foot by 30-foot sidewalk shed was erected the same day of the accident to protect pedestrians on the ground.
If you’ve been injured by falling debris from a building in the city, contact a New York City sidewalk accident lawyer immediately. You could be entitled to a monetary award from the property owner for your injuries, medical expenses and lost wages. Call the Law offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122.