When you walk into a room, you don’t think that a ceiling could be a safety hazard. We reasonably assume that ceilings, especially in our homes, are safe for those standing under them. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Old, rotten, or damaged ceilings that have not been properly repaired or maintained can fall on unsuspecting victims below. When a ceiling collapses, it can lead to serious and even deadly injury.
Causes of Ceiling Collapses
Except in rare cases, most ceiling collapses are the result of someone’s negligence. There are many different reasons that a ceiling can collapse including:
- Water leaks that go unaddressed by the landlord or property owner
- Cracks in the ceiling that aren’t repaired and are instead painted over to hide the problem
- Accumulations of snow or debris on the roof that aren’t removed
- Heavy items stored on drywall in an attic
- Vermin, rats, and other critters that live in the ceiling and compromise the structural integrity
- Plumbing and duct issues
- Engineering or structural issues
- Substandard materials used to construct or repair the ceiling
Who is Liable for a Ceiling Collapse?
After a ceiling collapse, an investigation will be done to determine who is liable. Determining who is responsible for a ceiling collapse comes down to figuring out who violated their duty of care.
It is the responsibility of a building owner, building manager, or landlord to provide a safe environment for the tenants of a building. They are responsible for inspecting the building for potentially unsafe conditions and respond in a reasonable time to dangerous conditions when tenants make complaints. A failure to do so is negligence. Unfortunately, some building owners and landlords do anything they can to cut costs and fail to make the necessary repairs or make repairs the cheapest way possible.
Contractors who design and construct buildings are responsible for ensuring that these buildings comply with New York building codes and are safe for occupants and visitors. The construction company that built the building or the contractor who made repairs to a building may be held liable for a ceiling collapse caused by shoddy construction or an unsafe design.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a ceiling collapse, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.