USA

Woman hit by chair that flew off NYC roof sues 76ers co-owner after accident

A company controlled by a Philadelphia 76ers co-owner was negligent when it allowed a lounge chair to fly off a Manhattan roof and hit a woman, leaving her with brain injuries, a new lawsuit alleges.

Annabel Sen had been on her way to lunch with her boyfriend on Jan. 25 when she “was struck by a heavy wooden lounge chair that fell from the terrace of the 12th-floor penthouse” of the 15 Union Square West Condominium building, according to her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Thursday.

“How [the chair] didn’t kill her is a miracle honestly,” Sen’s lawyer Benedict Morelli told The Post. “She is very damaged but she is not dead.”

The then 23-year-old Midtown West resident — who was heading to lunch at Xu’s Public House nearby — “suffered a severe, life-threatening, traumatic brain injury, among other injuries, that required emergency brain surgery. [Sen] has since had two more brain surgeries,” the court papers claim.

Sen, who worked for a private equity firm and was slated to get her masters at Harvard this fall, says the lounge chair should have been secured on the terrace — especially since it “was a rainy day with very windy conditions,” the suit says.

Sen is suing the penthouse owner, GR Realty Holdings LLC, which is owned by Michael Rubin — the co-owner of the 76ers basketball franchise and the New Jersey Devils hockey franchise, the court papers say.

Sen after her surgery.
Sen after her surgery.

“Sen has been unable to attend to her usual vocation and activities,” and she’s been forced to pay for medical bills, the court documents claim. “[Sen] has suffered and will necessarily suffer in the future additional loss of time and earnings from employment.”

The suit also blames the building owner and management companies and penthouse residents Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, who are both co-founders of startup company Brex — which Forbes valued at $2.6 billion in 2019, the court papers say.

“There was really no reason for this to happen,” Morelli said. “You either bring the furniture in — especially if you’re not going to be there for a long time — or you tie it down. There are a number of people who could and should have done that.”

Morelli said that Sen, now 24, had to leave Manhattan and move to Connecticut to live with her parents.

Sen — a graduate of Ivy League Brown University — no longer works at her job and won’t be attending Harvard this fall, the lawyer said.

“She is not doing anything now. She is just seeing doctors and recuperating. She has cognitive deficits,” the lawyer explained. “This was a young woman who was very gifted before the accident and we are hoping she gets back all of her faculties.”

Falling_Couch_1
Falling_Couch_1
Authorities at the scene of the accident, and transporting Sen to the hospital.

Daniel William McKnight

Falling_Couch_2
Falling_Couch_2
Falling_Couch_4
Falling_Couch_4
The fallen chair at the scene.

Daniel William McKnight

Falling_Couch
Falling_Couch
The building where the chair fell from.

Daniel William McKnight

102010_15UnionSquare_03LC
102010_15UnionSquare_03LC
Exterior of 15 Union Square West.

Lorenzo Ciniglio/Freelance

“Hopefully she will be able to regain enough to have a productive life going forward. We just don’t know yet,” Morelli said adding that in the coming months they will begin testing her to see what she has lost physically, psychologically, emotionally and cognitively.

Rubin did not immediately return a request for comment. Dubugras and Franceschi did not immediately return a message left with Brex. Management company Brown Harris Stevens Residential Management, LLC — which is also named in the case — declined to comment.

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