$1,100,000 Settlement : Landlord Responsible For Taking Short Cuts in Repairs To Fix Contractors And Framers Original Mistake

When a landlord elects to fix a support beam himself, he better do it right.   As the cement garage floor settled in their New Windsor, NY house, the landlord saw the support column in the middle of the garage was no longer connected at the top.  Rather than pay for a contractor to properly affix the column, the landlord simply tried to nail the column to the ceiling.  The column was loose because the original contractor choose to use the wrong size support column and the original framer never properly affixed it at the floor or at the ceiling.  The column was loose for years.  After a fire in their own house, our clients needed to rent a home while the fire damage was being cleaned.  They moved into the rental house and the landlord never warned them about the loose column in the garage.  Within a few weeks of moving in, the 6 year old son was walking through the garage with his three year old brother when, as expected, a the six year old pretended the pole was a fire pole and swung around it.  As he did, the pole gave way and landed on him, killing him.   Our office immediately sent an expert to the house and properly documented the faulty work by the contractor and framer as well as the shoddy repair work by the landlord.  Even though they tried to blame the boy for swinging on the pole, ultimately they were held accountable and agreed to settle the case for a total of $1,100,000.  While the parents know no amount of money is going to bring their son back, they were happy the responsible parties were held accountable because they don’t want this to happen to anyone else. The case was handled by partners Elyssa Fried and Ron Rosenkranz.

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP