Most people who live in New York City reside in apartments. That means they depend on their landlords and property owners to ensure their dwellings are safe and free of hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, this duty isn't always met and apartment dwellers can be injured or even killed as a result.
In an example of this, a New York woman was recently killed after she fell from the 17th-floor balcony of her apartment building. According to reports, the 35-year-old woman went outside for a cigarette after midnight Thursday and either leaned or sat on the railing of the balcony for support.
The railing then gave-way, causing the woman to fall backward to construction scaffolding on the first floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Apparently, the city's building department has ordered residents of the high-rise, Upper East Side brick apartment building to stay off of the balconies, which are only on the higher-floor corner apartments. It is unknown if the property owner had made it clear to tenants that the balconies were hazardous.
Officials from the building department took part of the broken railing in effort to determine exactly how it gave-way and whether other balconies also posed a threat. Photos of the accident scene reveal that the metal railing was bent into a V-shape.
If negligence on behalf of the landlord or property owner played a role in this tragic accident, it is possible that they could face liability in a personal injury lawsuit. In New York, property owners are generally held responsible for apartment building accidents if negligence or another error was involved.
Source: CBS News, "Woman on first date plunges 17 floors from NYC balcony," Aug. 1, 2013