Fatima Jannat Chowdhury Killed In Bronx Accident After Being Hit In The Head By Granite Handrail Outside Her Home
THE BRONX, NEW YORK (August 20, 2021) – An 8-year-old girl identified as Fatima Chowdhury has tragically died after being hit in the head by a falling granite handrail outside of her home in Westchester Square.
New York City police officials are saying that the accident took place around 8:00 p.m. on Monday. Fatima Jannat Chowdhury was playing outside of her home when she was hit by a 10 foot section of baluster that struck her head.
The victim’s mother was cooking when she heard her daughter screaming outside of the home. Family members rushed outside where they found Fatima Chowdhury bleeding from her head and laying underneath the banister.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the accident outside the home on Zerega Avenue. They rushed the little girl to the Jacobi Medical Center with critical injuries. But she could not be saved and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The victim’s aunt told reporters that they moved into the apartment three to four months ago. She told police that the landlord told them to be careful with the loose banisters. The victim’s uncle told reporters that he believes that the landlord should not have built the banister the way it was constructed.
An investigation remains ongoing by the Department of Buildings. The DOB said that it has not had prior reports about the structure. You can help support the family of Fatima Chowdhury through GoFundMe.
According to the GoFundMe page, “Fatima Jannat Chowdhury tragically passed away on August 2, 2021. Unfortunately, a 10- foot piece of granite handrail fell on her head as she played outside her home in the Bronx. Fatima will be missed dearly and we are trying to do this fundraiser to help her disabled mom.”
Liability In The Bronx Falling Banister Accidents
Accidents involving falling objects are most likely to occur in the construction industry. According to Safety and Health Magazine, in 2016 alone 255 workers were killed in accidents involving falling objects. But accidents can and do happen in every setting including a person’s home. This is especially true in New York City which is dotted with multi-family apartments and high rise buildings. There are potential hazards all over the place and it is the responsibility of landlords and building owners to do their best to mitigate those hazards.
Property owners in New York have a legal responsibility to take steps to prevent accidents on their property. Any person or entity “in control” of a property must use reasonable care to keep their premises safe in order to protect all persons whose presence on the property is reasonably foreseeable. Great care must be taken to protect customers and licensees – which includes tenants renting a building. There are a number of defects that a property could have which may make it unreasonably dangerous including:
- Broken staircases
- Appliances that leak carbon monoxide
- A lack of carbon monoxide detectors
- Improperly designed or secured decks
- Banisters that are improperly secured thereby creating a falling hazard
Whether or not a landlord will be liable for a defect will depend in large part on how foreseeable the accident was. Foreseeability can be demonstrated in a number of different ways. If one type of accident occured on a property multiple times this makes similar incidents more foreseeable. If a landlord tells a tenant about a dangerous condition on the property this could demonstrate that they clearly knew about the condition. When a landlord fails to take corrective action to fix a dangerous condition on their property this could amount to negligence. There are numerous steps that should be taken after any accident on a property.
- Email correspondence between the landlord and tenant should be examined.
- Any signed lease should be examined.
- Does the property have a record with the Department of Buildings?
- Photos of the accident site should be taken.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- A New York City premises liability attorney should be contacted.
The family of any victim that died due to the negligence of a landlord is protected by a number of laws. For example, they may be able to seek justice through a premises liability claim. Damages can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. Demonstrating liability in any accident can be extremely difficult. On top of this, landlords will fight hard to deny any legal responsibility for their actions. A premises liability attorney can examine the specific facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are. There are, however, statute of limitations associated with civil claims. Failing to act within the statute of limitations may result in a permanent forfeiture of your rights.
Investigating A Bronx Falling Banister Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek extend our deepest condolences to the family of Fatima Chowdhury. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. What did the property owner know prior to the accident? Could measures have been taken to prevent this? Why wasn’t the banister in question better secured? An 8-year-old girl is dead and a family will never be the same because of this. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to investigators at the Department of Buildings. Accountability is desperately needed after this tragedy.