The falling death of a 35-year-old media executive has drawn attention to the thousands of decrepit balconies looming over the streets of New York. The accident occurred after the woman slumped against the balcony of her 17th-floor apartment.
The victim’s date had warned her the balcony might not be safe, but she shrugged it off, assuming that the metal balcony would not collapse.
As NYU sociology professor, Eric Klinenberg, told the New York Times in light of the tragedy, New Yorkers adapt to the overcrowded environment by taking risks: “People sit on ledges all the time and nothing happens to them, tiptoe across the yellow line at the subway stop without consequences and jaywalk without being hit by a bus.”
But sometimes the unimaginable happens: Someone gets hit by a bus or falls into the subway tracks or a balcony collapses. Often, these accidents occur because of the negligence of others.
The death of a 24-year-old who fell from a balcony in 2010 prompted the city to conduct widespread balcony safety inspections. Tenants in 16 buildings were told to stay off their balconies because they were not safe. Officials found that around 800 building owners had neglected to file mandatory inspection reports on their balconies’ safety.
When New York property owners fail to properly maintain their buildings or other property, they may be liable in a New York premises liability claim for any injuries or deaths.
Unintentional Death Numbers
Nationwide, unintentional injuries were the fifth-leading cause of death in 2011, according to the Centers of Disease Control. Unintentional injuries killed 122,777 people in 2011, at a rate of 39.4 deaths per 100,000 people. Of these, 26,631 people died from unintentional falls.
If you or a family member has suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, the New York City personal injury law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can advise you of your legal rights. Contact us today so we can determine whether you have a case.