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Apartment building facade shored up to avoid collapse

This week, a 20-story apartment building near 3rd Ave. on E. 9th St. in Greenwich Village had to be braced by wooden planks after its facade came loose. New York City officials and firefighters acted immediately to stop the 10' x 10' portion of the facade from crashing down onto passersby on the street.

The apartment building, The St. Mark, had to have occupants in two apartments be evacuated for their own safety, even as law enforcement closed 3rd Ave. to vehicular traffic.

Buildings Department officials are investigating the reason for the separation of the facade, but apparently, the structure did not pass the last inspection of its facade. At that time, a sidewalk shed was constructed, and the corporation that owned the building applied for the permits needed to make repairs.

This is the latest in the series of facades disintegrating on New York City streets. Only this past February in the Bronx, a man suffered injuries after being struck in the head by bricks that blew off of a Highbridge building. Just two months prior to that incident, debris rained down from a facade 30 stories high on the Upper East Side. Fortunately, nobody got hurt.

Last May, a 2-year-old girl died after bricks fell off a home for senior citizens, The Esplanade, located on West End Ave. The toddler's grandmother suffered major injuries to her lower extremities, but survived. In that incident, officials arrested an engineer. He was accused of claiming the structure posed no hazards in 2011, although he never inspected it.

Injuries stemming from incidents involving others' properties can form the basis of successful premises liability litigation.

Source: New York Daily News, "Facade of 20-story Greenwich Village apartment building comes loose, forcing officials to brace building," Kerry Burke John Annese, May 12, 2016

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