Living in New York, large buildings are commonplace. Most residents can live their entire life in the city and never encounter a major problem with a building. However, the recent tragedy in Florida illustrates that building collapses are not unheard of and, when they occur, they can have disastrous implications.
Last week, an apartment building in Miami collapsed, killing at least eight and leaving more than 150 unaccounted for. The investigation into the collapse is so far taking a back seat to locating all missing residents; however, ultimately, state and federal investigators will look into what could have caused the huge building to collapse.
According to a recent news report, there is already some speculation as to what could have been done to prevent the catastrophe. For example, CNN recently published an article citing a letter written by the board president of the building. In the letter, she notes, “the concrete deterioration is accelerating. The roof situation got much worse, so extensive roof repairs had to be incorporated…the observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse since the initial inspection.” This leads to the natural question: why didn’t building management take the necessary steps to secure the building.
Unfortunately, these questions often go unanswered—at least until a lawsuit is filed and the responsible parties are compelled to answer. The reality is that large buildings require an incredible amount of upkeep, which is very expensive. In a city like New York, performing large-scale maintenance on an apartment building requires permits and months of planning. And, like it or not, the companies that own these buildings are not always willing to go through the trouble.
However, in the wake of last week’s tragedy, issues of building maintenance will undoubtedly take center stage. After a collapse of this magnitude—where possible more than 100 people were killed—questions need to be answered. While the law allows the victims of a collapse and their families to pursue claims for compensation against the responsible parties, it is challenging to know where to start.
While the investigation is still in its infancy, building management appears to be the most likely liable party. To the extent that management knew the building suffered structural problems and chose not to address them, they could be financially liable. However, if it comes out that a maintenance company failed to complete the job properly, they too could be liable. While it is too early to tell whose negligence caused the tragedy, buildings don’t suddenly collapse on their own without any prior notice.
Have You Been Injured in a Building Collapse or Construction Accident?
If you or someone you love was recently injured in a New York building collapse or another type of construction accident, reach out to the dedicated personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel. At the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel, we have decades of experience helping families pursue the compensation they need and deserve after suffering a senseless tragedy such as the one hundreds of Florida families are currently experiencing. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call 914-428-7386 today.