Historic flooding as a result of hurricane Ida killed 13 people in New York City—eleven of whom died in their basement apartments, unable to escape the rapidly rising water. While a few of these apartments were constructed correctly and met legal requirements for sublevel living in the city, many were illegally modified crawlspaces and basements slapped together by greedy landlords who bypassed necessary safety precautions such as providing emergency egress points. These slapdash apartments clearly violate New York City premises liability law and victims who suffered in these deathtraps have the right to seek compensation from their slumlord landlords.
This problem has been going on for years. In fact, The Basement Apartments Safe For Everyone (BASE) organization was founded in 2008 with the goal of spurring the city into action against these unsafe living conditions. The agency noted correctly that a vast majority of inhabitants of these illegally converted apartment spaces are people of color, of immigrants, and those without the financial means to afford a safe place to live.
Hurricane Ida won’t be the last storm to cause such havoc in New York City and has served to shine a spotlight on the tandem problems of racial and financial inequity.
Apartment living conditions are strictly regulated by multiple agencies at the municipal and state level, however, when those agencies fail to examine a property, glaring violations such as having only one exit in a sublevel basement apartment of failure to ensure exits are free from clutter and debris go overlooked. These are the types of violations that nobody notices until a tragedy such as an apartment fire or flooding occurs.
To insure that you properly compensated for your injuries, property and lost wages if you’ve suffered an apartment accident in which unsafe living conditions contributed to your injuries, you must speak with an experienced New York City premises liability lawyer today to see what legal options are available to you. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 right now.