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17 Story balcony fall results in woman's death

Georgia residents living in multi-level apartment complexes may want to take note of a deadly fall that occurred in New York. The premises liability incident involved a 35-year-old woman who fell from the 17th floor of a building after sitting on the balcony railing. The collapse of the railing triggered her backwards fall, and she landed on construction scaffolding on the first floor. She was found unresponsive and pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman was there on a first date. Police determined that neither foul play nor alcohol played a role in the fall after questioning the resident of the apartment. Residents of the property indicated that only the apartments on upper floors had balconies. The balcony area was described as very narrow, and an order was issued for residents to stay away from these areas until a thorough inspection could be completed.

During an initial inspection, the Manhattan Department of Buildings did not find evidence of recent violations or complaints about the structure's balcony areas. The time needed for completion of the investigation is unknown. Structural evaluation and further questioning of residents may be required to determine the integrity of the balconies and railings. Prior to the fall, the resident of the apartment involved told the woman that she probably shouldn't lean on the railing. Investigators will need to evaluate whether unreported issues existed.

Georgia residents dealing with potential dangers in rented homes or apartments can contact landlords with concerns related to structural safety. A property owner is responsible for the repair of dangerous property conditions. Dealing with an uncooperative landlord may require the assistance of a lawyer who is experienced with premises liability cases. In a situation involving an actual injury or a death related to dangerous property, an experienced attorney may be able to help in obtaining financial assistance related to medical bills, loss of work and other unplanned expenses.

Source: CBS New York, "Woman Killed In 17-Story Fall From Midtown Manhattan Balcony", August 01, 2013

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