In December of 2019, a prominent architect was killed when a chunk of façade fell from a building in Manhattan. It came to light that the owners of the building knew for over a year that the building was crumbling and did not take steps to repair it. As buildings across New York City age, issues with dangerous building facades continue. If owners of buildings are aware of problems with the safety of their buildings, they are obligated to repair the issues to protect the public from injury.
New York Law
New York City Administrative Code section 28-302.1 requires that all buildings maintain exterior walls and appurtenances in a safe condition. New York City’s Local Law 11 requires that the exterior walls and appurtenances of any building over six stories be inspected at least once every five years. The local law was enacted to make sure that building facades were safe and did not present a danger to pedestrians below. However, even with inspections, many building owners are failing to repair dangerous building facades.
A New York Post review found that more than 5,300 buildings in the city had open citations for unsafe exteriors. Among the dangerous buildings is a building in the Bronx that abuts a daycare center’s playground. This building has open violations dating back to 2008. The owners of the building paid fines but did not make any repairs to the building. Another building in Brooklyn had $30,000 in unpaid fines and had taken no steps to fix the cited issues.
The Department of Buildings recently put new rules into place that would supposedly call for stricter penalties for violators. Fines have been increased, and instead of “prompt” repair, it calls for repairs to be made within one year of the inspection. In addition, there will be no waiver of fines for owners that take the title of a building as part of an economic development project.
Unsafe Condition of Building Facades
In any premises liability case, a property owner has a duty to ensure that their premises are in a reasonably safe condition. This includes the safety of dangerous building facades. Debris falling from a building can cause serious injury or death to pedestrians walking by. A negligent property owner should be held liable for these injuries.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by debris from a dangerous building façade, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.