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Child Suffers Fatal Injury Due to Falling Brick

A brick from a building on the Upper West Side reportedly slipped away from the facade and fatally hit a two-year-old child who was under the care of her grandmother at the time. The brick apparently tumbled down eight stories from a crumbling window ledge at the Esplanade Manhattan nursing home, striking the woman and her granddaughter, who were sitting below on a bench.

Bystanders helped administer CPR to the injured toddler and provided First Aid to the grandmother. Emergency personnel took the pair to Cornell Medical Center. Surgeons performed brain surgery on the child, but were unable to save her. The child’s grieving parents removed her from life support after keeping her alive to enable organ donation. The grandmother, who regularly cared for her grandchild, sustained a serious leg injury.

Inspectors from the New York City Department of Buildings have issued a violation to the owners of the building for not adequately maintaining the property. They had previously received citations in 2010 and 2011 for failing to perform timely inspections of the building façade, which reportedly had obvious condition issues.

Property owners have a duty of care

Although it is unknown whether or not a lawsuit will be filed related to this incident, property owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and premises, and can be held liable if they do not fulfill this responsibility. Owners must clearly demonstrate that they have taken reasonable care to maintain their property and repair any potential or known hazards that could cause injury or render the environment unsafe. 

After an accident that was the result of negligence on the part of a property owner, consult an experienced premises liability attorney with Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson in New York. 

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