New York has some of the most eye-catching skyscrapers in the world, along with other architecture that really captures the city’s history. And while many of these buildings tend to be beautifully adorned on the outside, this beauty comes at a cost. It is up to each building’s owners to ensure that the outside of the building is maintained and inspected regularly.
Anything that falls from the exterior of a building could be deadly to those walking along the sidewalk below. A tragic example occurred earlier this month in Chicago, when a woman was struck and killed by a chunk of falling stone.
According to news sources, a woman and her boyfriend were walking to get lunch on a weekday earlier this month. Their route included passing in front of a church. While they were walking, a piece of metal came off the church’s exterior wall and struck a decorative gargoyle below it. That caused a chunk of stone to chip off, which then fell and struck the woman’s head. She was killed instantly.
The woman’s boyfriend has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the church. Although the building’s exterior had passed safety inspections over the past two years, it had failed an inspection as recently as 2011 and has not yet been inspected this year. The lawsuit, filed by the boyfriend on behalf of himself and the couple’s 9-year-old son, alleges that the church was negligent because it allowed the exterior wall to “exist in a dangerous and unrepaired condition.”
It is disturbing to realize that a life could be lost so quickly while strolling along the sidewalk, all because of a negligently maintained building exterior. Regular maintenance and safety inspection is not simply an aesthetic necessity. As this case shows, it can make a life-or-death difference.
Source: Chicagoist, “Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In Death Of Woman Killed By Falling Stone From Church,” Chuck Sudo, Sept. 9, 2014