Widow gets 9 Million payout following fatal accident

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A Manhattan building co-op and window Installation Company got slammed with a joint settlement pay out of $9M. The settlement was accepted last month.

Robert Domaszowec 49, fell at least 12 stories to his death in an accident that hit the headlines back in 2008. He was washing a bedroom window on the 17-story on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. He was found with his harness, squeegee and applicator by his side.

Tracy Domaszowec, his widow, fought a hard, long lawsuit against those she thought responsible.

Contractors involved in work carried out at the apartments surrounding the installation of new windows were dismissed as well as the tenant, a wealthy member of the Bulgari family, one of the world’s most successful jewelers as they found themselves whipped up wrongfully into the lawsuit.

The window installation company Panorama Windows along with 40 Fifth Avenue were kept in the case.

Evidence revealed Panorama employees used a reciprocating saw during construction and installation of new windows to the Bugari apartment. The company used the saw to cut away nuts and bolts that secured anchors in the framing of the master bedroom window. It appeared Mr Domaszowec never saw that the anchors, which he attached his harness to, were not secured!

Panorama Windows took the lion share of the pay out at $6.4M with the building co-op for 40 Fifth Avenue paying out $2.6M. It was found that the building owner and manager of 40 Fifth Avenue were responsible for not providing Mr Domaszowec with enough protection against the risks tied to elevated window cleaning.

The summary judgment ruling set important precedent, because New York courts had normally cited Brown v. Christopher Street Owners as interpreting the statute to cover commercial window washing but not cleaning done in a residence.

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