Thousands, if not millions, of New York residents rent apartments, many of them in older buildings with fire escapes that might not be completely up to code. This is a serious concern, as fire escapes are intended to provide an emergency exit to safety in the event of a fire. While collapses are rare, the risk of serious injury or death are high when they do happen.

In March 2016 the fire escape in a Lefferts Boulevard apartment building in Brooklyn collapsed, sending a man falling four stories to the pavement below. He had been leaning against the railing when it gave way, causing him to lose his balance and fall. The man was rushed to Kings County Hospital with unspecified injuries.

This Brooklyn fire escape collapse is an example of how dangerous an infrastructure can be when it is too old or poorly maintained. Examples of hazardous conditions include:

  • Loose railings
  • Broken or missing slats
  • Beams deteriorated by rust
  • Loose bolts or anchorages

Even the fire escapes on newer buildings can be weakened over time due to temperature changes and exposure to the elements, making them a hazard not only to building residents but even people passing below. Typical injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Severe bruising
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Internal injuries

Many tenants use fire escapes as an added living space during the warm weather season, as evidenced by the presence of chairs and plants on the structure. Even if a landlord or property owner actively tries to prevent such use, they have a responsibility to keep all fire escapes in safe condition to prevent the risk of collapse during an emergency situation. When they either know or should have known that the structure was compromised but do nothing about it and someone is injured as a result, victims and their families may take steps to hold that party accountable for their negligence.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a fire escape collapse incident, then contact a New York personal injury attorney with experience in premises liability lawsuits. They will investigate the circumstances of the accident, collect medical evidence and any witness statements, and help you file a claim against the parties responsible for violating fire escape building codes.

You may be able to claim compensation for both economic and non-economic damages such as:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Therapy and rehabilitation costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Mental anguish
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Reduced enjoyment of life

You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering created by your injuries, and a New York personal injury attorney will work tirelessly to achieve that end. Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York personal injury lawyer who has helped recover millions of dollars in compensation for serious injuries over the past 33 years. He offers free in-person consultations to prospective clients and works on a contingency fee. If you were injured, then call 718-514-6619 or visit Mr. Lutzky’s website at