According to ABC 7 NY, the City of New York is investigating the cause of the horrific collapse of a four-story garage, in Lower Manhattan, which left one dead and seven injured on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Emergency Management Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro revealed that the building was 98 years old and was housing 50 vehicles on the roof, which is being looked at as a potential cause. Four people were taken to the hospital in stable condition. Unfortunately, one person passed away and another chose not to receive medical care.
The parking garage is located on Ann Street between William and Nassau Streets, and remains closed due to the unstable conditions. FDNY investigators are working at the scene and in the surrounding area, interviewing witnesses, checking records, and examining the debris. Fox News reported that the garage had a history of violations including 19 violations that had been completed or defaulted on but more concerning were the four active violations.
“The entire site remains unstable. Automobiles and slabs of cement have shifted, making it unsafe to enter the site. Authorities say the garage will need to be broken down and demolished-the cars will need to be cut up and removed in pieces," said Nigro.
It will take days, maybe weeks, to clear the site and remove the vehicles, which contain potentially flammable materials. The cause of the collapse remains unknown and the investigation is ongoing. City officials are urging the public to stay away from the area while the investigation continues.
Attorney commentator Laurence Banville has experience representing victims of catastrophic events in the state of New York. He sat down to discuss the legal rights available for victims affected by a tragic event such as a collapsing parking garage.
"It is the responsibility of property owners and management companies to ensure the safety of a parking garage for anyone that parks in it. Those injured or killed in a catastrophic event, such as a collapsed parking garage, have the right to pursue legal action in order to seek compensation for their damages. Devastating events such as a collapsed parking garage can lead to significant injury or even death to those present."
"In such cases, it is the responsibility of the property owner or management to ensure that the parking garage is safe and secure for those parking in it. This includes regularly inspecting the structure and taking necessary measures to correct any safety issues that may arise. Any violations should be addressed promptly to make sure the public is safe. Failing to do so could deem them liable in the event of damage to the parking garage."
"If a parking garage does collapse and an individual is injured or killed as a result, the victim or their surviving family members may be entitled to legal recourse. This includes the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner or management to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. Victims are urged to contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss their legal options fully."