A lawsuit has been filed against an apartment landlord after rapper Flo Rida’s 6-year-old son suffered severe fall injuries after tumbling out of a window onto hard concrete.
Alexis Adams, the mother of Flo Rida’s son, sued her landlord after the severe accident. The lawsuit alleges that her son, Zohar Dillard, was seriously injured after falling out of the window onto hard concrete on March 4, 2023. According to an NBC news report, the lawsuit says Zohar suffered severe and permanent injuries that will affect his ability to perform “his usual functions” in the future.
The child remains in a full-body cast at the hospital, and it is unclear when he will return home, his mother’s attorney said. Adams said in a statement that it has been devastating to watch her son go through such pain and trauma that could have been prevented.
Adams issued a statement that her child suffered severe injuries due to the “willful negligence of our landlord and others involved in failing to take necessary safety measures.” Adams says she had filed several requests with her landlord for adequate window guards for her Jersey City apartment.
Falls Involving Young Children
According to Stanford Medicine, about 2.2 million children ages 14 and under are treated annually at hospital emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. Reports also show that falls kill about 100 children aged 14 and under each year. More than half of fall-related injuries among children occur among those ages 4 and under. About 12 children ages 10 and under die annually as a result of falling from windows. Another 4,000 children ages 10 and under require treatment each year for window fall-related injuries.
Statistics show that infants are more likely to fall off furniture, baby walkers, and stairs. Toddlers tend to fall from windows and playground equipment. Older children fall more often from playground equipment. Children who fall from windows are statistically most likely to be male under age 5 and unsupervised at the time of the fall, while boys are twice as likely to die from fall-related injuries than girls.
Playgrounds are also often the sites of serious injuries involving young children. Each year, nearly 200,000 children aged 14 and under require emergency room treatment because of playground falls. The most severe injuries in playgrounds are because of falls. More than half of all playground-related injuries occur in children aged 5 to 9. Children aged 4 and under tend to suffer injuries to the head and face from playground-related injuries. Older children are more likely to injure their arms and hands.
Types of Fall Injuries in Childhood Accidents
Children have the potential to suffer major fall injuries, including:
Head injuries: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury for children between the ages of 0 and 4. Head injuries have the potential to result in catastrophic injuries, disabilities, or even death.
Spinal cord trauma: The impact from a fall could cause children to fracture their vertebrae or cause slipped or herniated discs. Spinal injuries could result in neurological damage or even paralysis.
Broken bones: The impact of a fall could cause bones in any part of the body to break or fracture, such as those in the hips, back, shoulders, head, legs, arms, and pelvis.
Internal bleeding: A fall could also potentially damage blood vessels resulting in internal bleeding, which could prove fatal if not attended to immediately.
Soft tissue damage: Children who fall from heights could suffer contusions and bruises and also muscle injuries such as sprains and strains.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Child Fall Injuries?
When a child suffers injuries in a fall, a number of parties may be held liable, including:
Property owners and managers: If your child is injured on someone else’s property because of a property owner or property manager’s negligence, you may be able to file a premises liability claim against the property owner or property manager. If your child fell out of a window because your landlord failed to install window guards or repair broken or damaged window guards, as in this case, they may be held liable for the injuries, damages, and losses caused as a result.
Product manufacturers: A window manufacturer could be held liable if the latch or locking mechanism on a window was defective, allowing a child to open the window easily. Product manufacturers can also be held liable if the window was designed poorly and would not close all the way or if the glass was thin, weak, or loose. A window installer can be held accountable if the window was not installed properly or secured to a house properly.
Caregivers: An individual or entity (school, daycare center, after-school care, etc.) could be held liable if the accident and injury occur on their watch. This is particularly true if their negligence caused the child’s accident and injuries
Governmental entities: If the child’s accident and injuries occur on a municipal playground, then that governmental entity could be held liable for the child’s injuries, damages, and losses. One example of negligence is when a city or municipality fails to maintain playground equipment, and such negligence leads to a playground accident or injury.
Tips to Prevent Window Falls
Here are some crucial tips for parents and caregivers to help prevent falls from windows:
- When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- If you open a window for ventilation, use those that are not within a child’s reach.
- Make sure children do not play near windows, balconies, or patio doors.
- Do not place furniture near windows, as it may tempt children to climb and gain access to an open window.
- Do not allow children to jump on beds or other furniture, which could cause fall injuries.
- Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. These are only designed to keep bugs out and may not hold the weight of a child.
- Install devices that are ASTM F2090 compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open.
- Use window guards with quick-release mechanisms in case of fires or other emergencies.
If your child has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, cost of rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.