Sadly, a 3 year old boy tragically fell out the window of the 13th floor apartment complex in Harlem on Sunday and died. An investigation is underway, and reports are indicating that the family was illegally subletting the Harlem public housing apartment.
People are injured at apartment complexes frequently, and many apartment injuries occur as a result of property management negligence or failure to maintain acceptable safety standards. To help prevent the tragedy of a child falling from a window onto the pavement below, New York City law requires landlords to install and maintain protective window guards in every apartment that’s home to a child age 10 or younger. If a guard is installed improperly or not installed at all, a serious accident could occur. The window guard in this particular accident is under investigation, as it was found next to the child's body. Questions are being asked as to why the guard failed to stop the child from falling.
Key Things to Know about Window Guard Rules in NYC
- As a tenant, you can make a complaint about a landlord or manager who refuses to install window guards upon request. You must provide your contact information.
- As a landlord, you can make a complaint about a tenant who refuses window guard installation.
- Landlords are also required to ask tenants each year whether any children younger than 11 live in the apartment. They must install approved guards if the answer is yes.
- The owner of a multiple dwelling occupied by three or more families must provide, properly install, and maintain City-approved window guards if there are any children under 11 living there.
- Window guards must be installed on all windows except windows leading to fire escapes. This includes windows on the first floor, in bathrooms, leading onto a balcony or terrace, and in hallways. Where there is a fire escape from the upper floors, one window of the first floor apartments can remain unguarded.
- Tenants of multiple dwellings who do not have children may request window guards for any reason from the owner in writing, and the owner must install them.
"This accident is a terrible tragedy. Although the family was there illegally, one has to wonder if the window guard was properly maintained. We have represented clients with similar accidents. In one case, a 2-year old child fell 4 stories and suffered multiple skull fractures. He was lucky to live, but his recovery was long and painful. The window in that case did not have any safety guards, which is required by New York City law in apartments with children under 10 years old living in them. The law requires them even in first floor apartments because it is so easy for a child to fall out a window. An adult only needs to look away for a moment." - Neal Goldstein
Was Your Child Hurt Because of a Missing or Faulty Window Guard?
If your child was injured because a landlord failed to install or maintain a secure window guard, you could be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner are skilled at evaluating window guard injury claims and have a track record of success. Call our firm today at 516-222-4000 for a free evaluation of your case.