A man survived a fall from the Empire State Building last Wednesday.
Investigators are looking into what happened. Naturally, they are asking a lot of questions; we certainly hope that one of them is how something like this could be allowed to occur.
According to witnesses, the man either jumped or fell from the observation deck on the 86th floor of the iconic New York landmark. He landed on a catwalk not far below. Security officers were able to reach him and have him taken to a hospital. His present condition is not known.
Anyone who has visited the Empire State Building knows that the owners have taken some precautions to make sure people do not fall or jump from its heights. Incidents like this beg the question, however, whether enough has been done. If the Empire State Building is going to invite people to see the beautiful New York panorama from its observation deck, then it ought to make sure that they can do so safely and securely.
All property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe for those who can reasonably be foreseen to use them. This is a fair and just expectation of property owners. They are not asked to see into the future and forestall any incident with negative consequences, but they are expected to be practical and reasonable when it comes to the safety of visitors, occupants and residents.
Although we are discussing this in the context of the Empire State Building, it holds true for every property owner. Whether it is a humble sidewalk bodega or a sleek skyscraper, the obligation remains the same.
Source: MSN News, “Man survives fall from Empire State Building,” April 26, 2013