A building collapsed in the Bronx on Monday, leaving community in turmoil, displacing scores of residents and causing emotional and physical upheaval. Residents initially mistook the sounds and vibrations for routine occurrences. Some believed it was the wind, while others attributed it to construction work below. It wasn’t until the situation escalated, with walls literally crumbling around them, that the magnitude of the disaster became apparent.
While it is fortunate that there were no fatalities and only minor injuries, the emotional toll and loss of personal possessions are devastating for the affected families. Many have been left homeless and uncertain about their future.
The accounts of residents paint a grim picture of the conditions inside the building prior to its collapse
For years, residents reported numerous issues, including rat infestations, persistent leaks, and visible cracks in the walls. These problems were not isolated incidents but rather systemic issues that plagued the building.
Melina Ricart, a former resident, described how the walls inside the building were crumbling, leading to constant leaks that flooded apartments. The lack of response from the building management left residents feeling unsafe and helpless. Miriam Rodriguez, another tenant, highlighted the deplorable state of the building, where even pushing the wall could create a hole. Complaints often went unanswered, and repairs took weeks to address, if at all.
Narciso Tejada, a resident on the second floor, recounted his struggle to communicate with the landlord about safety concerns. He experienced extreme heat, broken appliances, and bursting pipes, all of which went unresolved. The building’s aging infrastructure and the persistent leaks posed a serious threat to its structural integrity.
A History of Negligence
The building’s owner, David Kleiner, has faced legal challenges in the past. Tenants have filed lawsuits against his company, 1915 Realty LLC, seeking repairs and addressing lead paint issues. City records reveal over 100 housing code violations in recent years, reflecting a pattern of neglect.
Residents also filed multiple heat outage complaints in the weeks leading up to the collapse, further indicating the dire state of the building. Despite these warning signs, the tragedy occurred, displacing countless families.
In the aftermath of the collapse, investigations are underway, with the Bronx district attorney, along with city fire and building departments, leading the charge. As building collapse attorneys, we will be closely monitoring these investigations to ensure that justice is served.
Our primary goal is to hold negligent parties accountable. This includes the building owner, management, and anyone else who may have contributed to the building’s deterioration. Families who have lost their homes and possessions deserve compensation for their suffering and losses. As building collapse attorneys, we work tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable and ensure that this tragedy does not repeat itself in our community. It is our hope that through legal action, those affected will find some solace and a path towards recovery.
In a previous case related to falling debris, our attorneys successfully altered the “zone of danger” legal doctrine in New York, enabling a grandmother who witnessed her granddaughter’s tragic death due to falling debris in Manhattan to seek compensation for psychological distress. This doctrine previously limited compensation to “immediate family members” who witnessed family members’ injuries or deaths, excluding grandparents. Recognizing this injustice, our attorneys challenged the law through New York State courts, eventually presenting their case to the highest authority, the Court of Appeals. The Court ruled in favor of our client, affirming that excluding grandparents from the definition of immediate family was arbitrary and inconsistent with other laws. Now, a jury will determine the damages our client should receive for the emotional trauma she endured during this devastating event. This legal victory marks a crucial step toward fairness and justice.