Bronx Ceiling Collapse Accident Lawyers Discuss Landlord Liability for Ceiling Collapses
Far too often, New York City landlords ignore apartment tenants’ complaints about critically needed repairs explains Arkady Frekhtman, one of the Bronx ceiling collapse accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm. Besides failing to address major plumbing problems, landlords also postpone repairing leaky ceilings and those with loose tiles. Tenants are even ignored when they report that their ceilings are breaking open and dropping harmful substances on them. Sometimes, entire ceilings must collapse before landlords will help.
Asbestos, mold, and a variety of toxic substances can be mixed in with materials that fall out of ceilings as they break apart or burst open. If your ceiling is dropping harmful substances on you – or if it has recently collapsed, you need to contact your New York personal injury attorney right away.
What Must Be Proved in a Premises Liability Case Involving a Collapsed Ceiling?
- You must be a lawful tenant. You must show that you were lawfully living in the apartment when you suffered harm. An invited guest of the tenant may also be able to recover from certain types of serious injuries caused by a collapsed – or collapsing ceiling;
- You may need to show that you had requested repairs and were ignored. You should notify your landlord, preferably in writing, when you see that your ceiling is starting to collapse. However, you can often recover when it has collapsed suddenly;
- Landlord’s negligence. You and your lawyer must show that your landlord was negligent. He either kept refusing to fix your damaged ceiling after you reported it – or knew of plumbing or other problems that were likely to cause your ceiling to collapse;
- The proximate or direct cause of your harm. Your injuries must support your claim that your landlord’s negligence directly caused you or a loved one to suffer serious physical harm. In a December 2016 case, the tenant’s small child was playing nearby when the roof suddenly collapsed. It’s hard to know what dangerous substances may have come out of that ceiling and landed on that poor child.
How Much Can An Injured Plaintiff Recover After a Ceiling Collapses?
In one older case, a young woman living in a Bronx apartment was seriously harmed after her bathroom ceiling fell down on her. In that case, the landlord had made some efforts to fix the ceiling prior to its collapse. Nevertheless, her lawyer successfully argued that all earlier attempts to fix the ceiling were insufficient and constituted negligence.
This young woman was so seriously harmed when the ceiling collapsed that she became too disabled to work again. She was awarded over three million ($3 million). That same case would probably be worth an even higher amount today.
The bottom line is that your damages can run very high. Our firm will conduct a thorough investigation into your ceiling collapse so that you can recover all that’s owed to you.
Mold, Asbestos, and Other Toxic Substances Can Drop Out of a Collapsed Ceiling
New York City’s Metropolitan Council on Housing’s website notes that very young children, the elderly, and people with serious breathing problems can suffer more harm than others when a ceiling collapses. Residents’ allergies can also be greatly worsened when living around the mold.
General Checklist Concerning the Repairs Landlords Must Usually Handle
- Outside of your apartment. They must make sure all hallways, staircases, balconies, and entrance/exit areas are safe;
- Fixed or immovable items inside your apartment. Your landlord is also responsible for maintaining the safe condition of all floors, walls, and ceilings – as well as appliances and fixtures supplied by the landlord – such as circulating ceiling fans, stoves, and air conditioning units.
Of course, the law always seeks to be fair to all parties. A tenant can only recover damages following a ceiling collapse if not directly responsible for the damage. Installing ceiling hooks and hanging heavy objects (contrary to lease provisions) could free a landlord from liability. Likewise, a person who installs a heavy swing on a balcony may also have problems recovering damages for injuries suffered in a fall — if such a swing was forbidden in the lease.
Our law firm has experience handling all types of premises liability cases. We’re ready to defend you if you’re seriously injured due to landlord negligence.