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Unsafe and neglected balcony railings lead to fall and catastrophic injuries

A month after falling off the balcony at a North Bay Village apartment complex, Jimmy O’Reilly is still at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Critically injured, it is still unknown whether Jimmy will be able to walk again.

In its on-camera investigation, Local 10 asked the same questions Tom Scolaro, attorney for Jimmy O’Reilly, has been asking; Where were the owner and the property manager? Why were the balconies and railings never fixed despite numerous complaints by multiple tenants?

“This was a recipe for disaster. You have an absentee owner and a property manager that was indifferent to the tenant complaints. Owners and managers must be responsible for maintaining their property. When they are not, and good people are gravely injured, it is our job to hold them accountable to the fullest extent the law allows” said Scolaro.

Despite numerous complaints by tenants about the condition of the balconies and railings, the property manager ignored the problems and did nothing to warn, repair or prevent the unavoidable. It was only a matter of time before one of the railings gave way and an innocent person fell.

Almost a month later, Jimmy O’Reilly, 36, is still in critical condition, and unable to walk. Jimmy also sustained a traumatic brain injury, and to this day, he has no recollection of what happened.

The day of the incident, the balcony railing at North Bay Village collapsed. “Jimmy did nothing wrong. He was leaning against a balcony at a friend’s house and now he has to fight just to be able to walk again one day.”

The owner of the building, Rudoph Faber, was cited in the past for conducting structural work in the building without permits. Since this incident, the city has required the property manager to have the entire building, including every single unit, inspected by engineers.

The building has 120 days from the date of the notice to repair all the balconies and railings, and bring the building up to code.

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