Ceiling Collapse Cases
In older buildings where maintenance is deferred, plumbing often fails and leaks occur, ceilings can often fall and cause serious injury. At my firm, The Law Offices of David Ascher, I often try to argue that such an event is proof of negligence. However, my office also conducts a thorough investigation in order to show that the landlord or superintendent knew or should have known that the ceiling was compromised due to leaks or a failure to maintain the building.
It is important to find out immediately who owns the buildings, as several buildings are owned by the city of New York or the New York City Housing Authority and therefore require a Notice of Claim within 90 days.
To be successful in a lawsuit involving a ceiling collapse, the plaintiff must prove that the landlord or one of their employees knew or should have known about the ceiling condition. In some instances, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor applies. This is a legal doctrine in Latin that translates to “the thing speaks for itself.” That means that such an accident does not occur absent negligence on behalf of the defendant. This is harder to prove in regard to the landlord. Not all ceiling cases can use this doctrine. Therefore, a good investigation is critical.