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Woman Injured in Union Square by Flying Furniture

April 8 2020

In an unusual accident, ABC7 NY reports that a woman was injured during a strong rainstorm in late January. The woman was passing a building near 15 Union Square West when strong winds blew a wooden patio chair from a balcony. It fell to the ground and hit her in the head in an accident so horrifying and loud that many witnesses believed that a truck was involved in a crash.

The woman was temporarily knocked unconscious and unable to walk when she woke back up. She suffered a serious head wound that left her bleeding and crying out in pain as emergency personal tended to her. They rushed the victim to Bellevue Hospital, where she was expected to make a full recovery.

Unsecured Scaffolding also a Problem

Police also responded to calls that a window was broken at a building at 200 East 33rd Street. Scaffolding had apparently been installed on the building to help with masonry work, though none was going on at the time. When the storm struck, the scaffolding, which was unsecured, began to move, and a rope smashed through a window on the 15th floor.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident, though the Department of Buildings cited the contractor for a violation, along with a Full Stop Work Order. The public is very lucky that no one was passing the building at the time of the accident, because they could have been cut by falling glass.

Unsecured scaffolding is a serious danger to pedestrians during storms. The scaffolding could break free and fall to the ground, where it could crush a pedestrian. It might also knock masonry off the side of the building, which has happened before.

Compensation for an Act of God?

Although these accidents might seem outside anyone’s control—after all, who can control the wind?—victims can sometimes receive compensation. Windstorms are not unforeseeable, and property owners need to take necessary precautions to make sure members of the public are not injured when a storm strikes.

For example, property owners might need to tie down outside furniture with cables or ropes. Lighter items might need to be brought inside if there is a report of a powerful storm approaching.

When it comes to scaffolding, property owners should follow government regulations, which require that scaffolding be properly secured. Failure to follow the law is often powerful proof that a premises owner has been negligent, and members of the public should consider whether to sue if they were harmed.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an NYC Premises Liability Attorney Today

If you were injured in a storm, contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman for a free case review. There are many situations in which victims can bring a claim for compensation, but you need a seasoned attorney to critically evaluate what happened.

Members of the public can reach our firm by calling 212-285-3300 or send us an online message using our contact form. Please avoid delay, since New York law gives victims a short deadline for protecting their rights.