A building façade accident in New York City has prompted the owners of one of the city’s most iconic hotels to erect a protective structure over the pedestrian sidewalks. The Standard Hotel has quickly become one of the most recognizable structures in New York City with its interesting structure and prime location. However, a building façade accident there in January has prompted the owners to install a protective sidewalk shed to stop any potential debris from striking pedestrians below.
The incident that spurred the changes happened on January 2nd of this year. An 8-foot section of the building’s cement-and-fiberglass exterior sheeting broke free and tumbled to the ground below. Fortunately, nobody was hurt by the falling debris. A Department of Buildings investigation led to a small fine but the hotel was also ordered to hire engineers to assess the safety of the rest of the façade.
As a preventative measure (and to perhaps minimize its financial liability for any future accidents), the hotel has erected sidewalk sheds at the base of the building. These structures are now somewhat iconic in their own right as they dot the NYC landscape but their intention is to stop falling objects from striking individuals below. Some have called them unsightly. Others have called for their removal. However, with hundreds of miles of sidewalks, footpaths, and publically accessible areas below the crumbling, aging facades of NYC buildings, it is likely sidewalk sheds are here to stay.
Erecting a sidewalk shed does not shield a property owner from responsibility. Owners of tall, multi-story buildings are required to inspect, maintain, and repair the facades of their buildings according to a regular schedule. Failure to do so will result in the owner being held liable in the event of a façade accident in New York City.
If you or a loved one has been struck by falling debris, contact an experienced New York City building façade accident attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.