NEW YORK CITY — A New York University student who was seriously injured when a Manhattan apartment stairwell collapsed during a party has filed a personal-injury lawsuit against the building’s owner, a news release in Long Island Newsday reported.
The student was attending a rooftop party in a seven-story East Village apartment building when a portion of the stairway he was descending gave way, causing him to fall three stories. According to the Wall Street Journal, the landing near the seventh floor gave way, causing the man to fall and land on the stairs between the fourth and fifth floors.
The man, whose name has been withheld from reports, received multiple major injuries, including a broken ankle and broken ribs, but was listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital.
The New York City Department of Buildings inspected the accident site and issued multiple citations to the building’s property management company for its failure to maintain the building and for alleged illegal occupancy of the roof.
A lawyer for the injured called the situation “extremely dangerous” and said that “the manner in which the stairway collapsed, a lot more people could have been injured had they been there at the time.”
More than 35 people were stranded on the roof when the stairwell collapsed around 1:30 a.m., Long Island Newsday said. Firefighters evacuated the people using a bucket ladder while others climbed down the fire escape.
“These injury victims end up having to take more time away from work and pay out-of-pocket costs for treatments such as physical therapy or chiropractic care,” the man’s lawyer said in a statement. “In cases where catastrophic injuries occur, victims may never be able to work or earn a livelihood again.”
The lawyer added that property owners and managers should conduct routine inspections and ensure “that everything is in good working order.”
“When owners or managers fail to maintain their properties as required, visitors, guests and/or tenants could end up paying a hefty price,” he said.