New York City is home to some of the most iconic architectural designs of any city in the United States. From the soaring gables of The Dakota to the breathtaking neo-gothic details of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, our vertical architectural wonders are many and varied.
But like so many other structures around the city, these buildings are the creations of bygone eras. In the centuries since they were first erected until now, some features of the city’s towering landscapes are no longer safely secured.
Laws regulate the condition of the city’s buildings
The city implemented the Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), which is colloquially referred to as Local Law 11. These building regulations were designed to ensure the structural soundness of facades and exterior walls and appurtenances.
Under the supervision of the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), property owners of structures exceeding six stories must conduct professional inspections of the buildings’ facades every five years. The findings of the inspections are then recorded in DOB reports.
Noncompliance remains an issue
If all property owners diligently followed the rules and conducted inspections of the facades and exterior walls as required, the Big Apple would be a lot safer for the throngs of pedestrians on the streets at any given time. But far too many fail to inspect and maintain their buildings according to the law.
Catastrophic injuries and deaths can result from loose pieces of the buildings’ architecture falling down onto the pedestrians and even motorists below. Those victims who survive the impact can be left with permanent, life-altering injuries requiring 24-hour care.
Hold irresponsible property owners liable for your losses
As one can imagine, the costs of such injuries can far exceed a victim’s ability to pay for the lifesaving care they need. If you are badly injured or a loved one is killed due to a collapsing façade or architectural feature, filing a premises liability lawsuit against the responsible parties may be the only route to compensation and justice.