In the aftermath of a devastating parking garage collapse in New York City's Financial District, two Manhattan residents have initiated a $100 million class-action lawsuit against the garage owners, citing negligence and reckless disregard for human life and property. The collapse, which occurred on April 18, 2023, resulted in one fatality and left five others injured. The tragic incident has since become the subject of three separate lawsuits.
Robert Galpern, a landlord of a nearby Fulton Street building, stored his customized $60,000 Toyota Highlander in the doomed parking garage. His lawyer, Migir Ilganayev, explained that while Galpern plans to file an insurance claim for the lost vehicle, the reimbursement will likely not cover the full amount he originally paid. Ilganayev argues that the responsibility for the deficit falls on the garage owners, operators, and managers, who allegedly allowed the aged and run-down building to become dangerously overloaded.
Boguslaw Zapolnick, a building superintendent in the Financial District, also suffered a significant loss when his $40,000 2023 Mazda was destroyed in the collapse. Zapolnick's attorney noted that the superintendent had long complained about dust and falling cement in the garage, pointing to ongoing structural issues.
The lawsuit targets garage owners 57 Ann Street Realty Associates, Alan and Jeffrey Henick, Little Man Parking LLC, and Enterprise Ann Parking LLC, accusing them of negligence and a wanton disregard for human life and property. The court papers detail the plaintiffs' grievances and demand compensation for their losses.
In addition to Galpern and Zapolnick's class-action lawsuit, two other individuals have filed separate lawsuits against the garage owners. Pierre Vancol, a 50-year-old worker who survived the catastrophic event, is pursuing his case in Brooklyn Supreme Court. Luis Farfan, a Bronx resident who claims to have sustained injuries in the collapse, has filed suit in Bronx Supreme Court. Vancol and Farfan seek unspecified damages for their injuries and suffering.
The tragic parking garage collapse and the ensuing legal battles serve as a stark reminder of the importance of proper building maintenance and safety regulations. As the progress of the lawsuit, the affected parties hope for justice and accountability for the catastrophe that has irrevocably altered their lives.