Two Children Hurt When Strong Winds Bring Down Wall
According to the New York Daily News, two children were hurt when a brick wall of a Brooklyn bargain store toppled due to strong winds. The two children were on their way back from Sunday school as witnesses observed the bricks and an aluminum sign fall onto them.
All of New York experienced high winds this past Sunday, but the ramifications of this strong gust of wind were particularly tragic. The scene of this accident was the corner of Bedford Ave. and Fulton St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Although emergency personnel described their injuries as “non-fatal” they were still labeled “serious condition” when they were being transported to Kings County Hospital. Before emergency medical services arrived at the scene, a witness was able to pull the children out from under the pile of bricks.
The NYC Buildings Department issued a statement confirming that a portion of the store’s brick wall as well as aluminum signage fell onto the sidewalk and street. As a result, the Environmental Control Board slapped a violation on the store’s owner for failure to maintain a safe premises.
The landlord of the store and the store tenant, depending on the terms of the lease between the parties, will bear the liability in a potential case for the children’s injuries. The building owner and retail store tenant have a duty to passers by on the sidewalk to keep the exterior of the building, including the façade and the parapet wall in good condition.
The potential defendants cannot claim that the high winds or “an act of G-d” caused the accident. Regardless of the severity of the wind gusts, the landlord and tenant had a non-delegable duty to keep the exterior the premises safe for pedestrians.