There has been an alarming number of façade accidents in New York City in recent years. A number of people have been seriously injured. A handful of people have died because of injuries caused by building materials breaking from the fronts of multi-story buildings in the city and tumbling to the ground below. Sometimes these accidents are spectacular (like when an entire illegally constructed façade peeled away from a building and crushed a pedestrian in Crown Heights) and sometimes a single terra cotta chunk can be fatal. No matter the extent of the damage or the root cause, pedestrians and residents have a right to be safe when walking along the sidewalks and streets of our city.
That’s why city officials have been working hard to update an existing façade inspection law in order to make our streets safer. The existing law does make it necessary for building owners of certain multi-story structures to regularly inspect and repair their facades. However, as several after-accident investigations have revealed, there are a number of façade inspectors in the city who are either not qualified to do the job they’re tasked with or who cut corners and fail to properly vet the buildings they’ve been hired to inspect.
Updates to The Façade Inspection Safety Program (also known as Local Law 11) will now require certain qualifications for individuals in order for them to operate as a “Qualified Exterior Wall Inspector.” However, as aggressive as these new changes are, they can’t possibly prevent every façade accident in New York City.
Nor do they negate the liability of the property owner if you are injured by a failed façade. Most of these types of accidents result in devastating injuries or even death. If you or a loved one is hurt in such an accident, you should contact a qualified building façade accident attorney in New York City as soon as you are able. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 today for a free consultation without any further delay.