The collapse of a New York City garage in April was caused by the negligence of the owners of the building, according to State Farm, which is suing them to recover $1.5 million in payments to the garage’s customers who are insured by State Farm and whose vehicles and personal property were damaged in the collapse.
As obligated under its insurance policies for 43 of its insureds, State Farm says it has paid or will pay that amount for the damages and losses they sustained and is therefore entitled to recover the same amount in subrogation from the garage owners.
The defendant garage owners named in the suit are 57 Ann Street Realty Associates, Inc., Enterprise Ann Parking, LLC and Little Man Parking, LLC.
On April 18, the collapse of the building on Ann Street in Lower Manhattan killed one worker, injured five and crushed cars as concrete floors fell on top of each other. Vehicles fell onto a pile of sedans and SUVs.
State Farm alleges the owners failed to properly operate, manage, maintain and/or control the garage and the garage collapsed because of their negligence and carelessness. According to the complaint, prior to the April 18 collapse, the garage had several open violations dating back 20 years, including sagging beams and cracking concrete, and the owners did not comply with building and safety laws and regulations.
The insurer maintains that the owners created a dangerous condition which they knew, or should have known, would create an unreasonable risk of harm to vehicles and property.
In addition, State Farm alleges the owners committed breaches of bailment and contract by failing to exercise reasonable care in the handling, transporting, parking and storage of the vehicles.
The suit was filed in federal district court in Manhattan.
Photo: Cars are seen piled on top of each other at the scene of a partial collapse of a parking garage in the Financial District of New York, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Topics New York
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