Mother Suffers Spinal Injury in Apartment Ceiling Collapse

On March 5th, two WRSMH attorneys, mediated the settlement of this case in the amount of $750,000. Our client, an unemployed single mother on social assistance was living in the basement apartment of the defendant’s apartment building. While cooking for her child at the stove, the ceiling collapsed on her head. During the course of the case, the firm was able to find out that at the time of the accident the building had a history of 112 building code violations. Shortly before the collapse, a building code violation was issued for the kitchen ceiling to be repaired. The firm also dug up Housing Court records prior to the accident, showing that the landlord was aware of the ceiling defect and had agreed to repair it. The landlord’s defense was that the tenant, our client, refused him access to the apartment in order to drag out eviction proceedings against her.

According to EMS and hospital records, our client was unconscious for five minutes. Her neck was immobilized at the accident scene by EMS. Abrasions were noted by medical personnel on her forehead. Physical therapy was started right away. As the pain in her neck continued, an MRI was performed. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc at C 5 -6. She was treated by a noted pain management doctor who performed cervical epidurals which were of only limited help. After a course of continued physical therapy, she turned to a spinal surgeon who performed a spinal fusion and discectomy at the herniated level of C 5 -6.

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