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Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Radiator Kills Two Children Living in City Owned Housing in NYC

Who is responsible for accidents occurring in city-owned apartments and houses?

A tragic incident recently resulted in the deaths of two young girls in the Bronx.  Investigators report that mother of the one and two-year-old sisters left the city-owned apartment at 10:12 a.m.  Both girls were asleep in the bedroom with the door closed while their father slept in the living room.  She returned at almost noon then opened the bedroom door to find the room filled with steam and both girls unconscious.  Steam billowed out of the apartment and into the hallways as the parents screamed for help.  Despite CPR efforts, the badly burned girls sadly did not survive their exposure to the scalding steam. 

The City’s Liability for the Accident

Mayor de Blasio has characterized the deaths as a freak accident, but others have questioned the potential liability of the city, which owned the apartment. Reports indicate that the apartment was inspected just last month with no evidence of any serious violations.  However, steam should never have come out of the valve in that volume.  At over 230 degrees, the steam would burn anyone rapidly, let alone two babies. 

New York City’s public advocate has called for a full investigation into the city’s role in these tragic deaths.  It has been suggested that there is a lack of transparency concerning inspections in certain apartments used to house homeless families, as opposed to those with full-time residents. 

Accidents in New York City Housing

The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in the United States. It controls close to 200,000 apartments, which all must be inspected and maintained.  Over the years, inadequate inspections have led to numerous accidents involving the residents of public housing, including elevator accidents, lead paint exposure, unsafe staircases, and acts of violence due to inadequate security. 

If you or a loved one has been injured while residing in city-owned property, you may be able to hold the city accountable for your damages sustained in the accident.  Contact municipal liability attorney Arthur O. Tisi today to protect your legal rights.


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