On September 11, tenant Lareese Williams asked the owners of the East New York apartment building to install railings in the apartment where his family resided. It was not the first request from the patriarch as he repeatedly requested improved safety measures. In January, the grandmother who lived with them and often cared for her grandchildren complained that the window needed repair due to it not completely closing.
No action was taken in spite of laws that require mandatory window guards for buildings with three or more apartments where 10-year-old children and younger resides.
Twelve days after his father’s last warnings of the potential dangers in their dwelling, Lareese Williams Jr., who was supposed to be napping, wedged out of the broken parts of the window. He fell six stories to his death. The tragedy occurred three months short of his third birthday.
One day later, workers showed up at the apartment where loved ones were grieving their tragic loss and making funeral plans. They were tasked to fix and install bars over the window. After the tragically belated repairs, the window still won’t remain closed, according to the family.
What a difference one day would have made. After demanding a criminal investigation, the elder Williams is now suing the building owner and management company over negligence that killed his son.
With ownership of an apartment building comes the responsibility of ensuring the safety of tenants. Failing to do so can result in serious injuries and tragic deaths.