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Woman Sues Over Falling Chair

Falling Terrace Chair Causes Severe Brain Injures to Woman on New York Street

Annabel Sen was walking to lunch with her boyfriend in Manhattan when an unsecured lounge chair fell from a 12th-floor penthouse terrace, striking her in the head. In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Sen “suffered a severe, life-threatening, traumatic brain injury, among other injuries that required emergency brain surgery. [Sen] has since had two more brain surgeries.”

Sen’s lawsuit is against the penthouse owner, GR Realty Holdings LLC, a company owned by Michael Rubin. She is also suing the penthouse tenants Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi. The building owner and Brown Harris Stevens Residential Management, LLC, are also named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks to hold responsible any or all of the defendants for failing to ensure the reasonable safety of the premises.

Did Negligence Cause this Accident to Occur?

Was this a freak accident of nature or a case of negligence? A judge or jury will have to make that decision.

Court papers allege the lounge chair should have been secured to prevent an accident like this from occurring, especially since the day was rainy and windy. As reported in the NY Post, “There was really no reason for this to happen. You either bring the furniture in – especially if you’re not going to be there for a long time – or you tie it down. There are a number of people who could and should have done that.”

Determining negligence in a case like this will likely rely on experts familiar with industry standards that building owners and maintenance companies are supposed to follow. People will testify about whether or not it was reasonable to leave an unsecured chair on a terrace, given the weather conditions at the time of the accident. The defendants will likely claim that the accident was due to an “act of god” and that no negligence existed. Sen’s position is that the injuries are the “result of pure negligence.”

Did Negligence Cause Sen’s Accident and Injuries?

If Sen and her lawyers can show that not securing the chair was negligent, they must also show the court that the negligence caused injuries. From what Sen’s lawsuit says, her injuries do not seem to be in doubt, despite leaving the scene with what appeared to be lacerations only. As with many brain injuries, Sen showed no immediate signs of her severe TBI. Since the accident, she has had several brain surgeries and has a severely misshapen skull. She requires a variety of treatments and therapies as she tries to recover from her brain injury.

Before the accident, Sen worked at a private equity firm after graduating from Brown University. She was on schedule to begin a master’s degree program at Harvard this fall.

However, Harvard is not in her near future. According to her lawyer, Sen is unable to do much of anything. She has been unable to return to her job or regular activities and has to move in with her parents. Her lawyer went on to say that she has cognitive defects, and she spends most of her time seeing doctors and trying to recover her faculties.

What Damages Might Sen Receive?

In cases such as this, the victim might collect damages for various things. Negligence cases with severe injuries can result in substantial compensation awards for the injured plaintiff. In her lawsuit, Sen is asking for damages to cover items such as loss of income from her inability to return to work, medical expenses, future lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Some of the defendants, in this case, have very deep pockets. The tenants are the co-founders of a company that, in 2019, was valued at 2.6 billion dollars. Rubin, who owns the holding company that owns the apartment, is also a co-owner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.

Call Levine and Wiss if You Suffer Injuries Because of Negligence

Our lawyers at Levine and Wiss handle all types of personal injury cases, including premises liability claims. Call us today at 888-GOT-HURT for a free case evaluation.

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