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Lawsuit Sheds Light On Problems With Iron Balcony Railings

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) – A man severely injured after falling 25 feet from a balcony when a railing breaks filed a lawsuit that has prompted the property owner to take action.

As CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, problems with iron balconies are all too common in Chicago.

The injured man who filed the lawsuit asked that his identity not be revealed. Last summer, he fell from a Lakeview balcony.

“As you can see in the end, it’s terribly rusted through and that’s why it gave way when my client leaned up against it,” attorney Patrick Salvi says.

The victim fractured his spine and wrist, broke both of his heels and even had to learn how to walk again.

“If the property owners had simply inspected this area and made sure it was up to code, they would have recognized that it wasn’t,” Salvi says.

A Chicago Department of Buildings inspector issued five violations to the property. A spokesperson says the department has issued 600 iron-related balcony violations since 2012.

“Like any part of a building that is exposed to the varied weather conditions experienced in Chicago, property owners should ensure porches are checked on an annual basis for any wear and tear,” the spokesperson says.

The attorney for the property owner says they are investigating why the railing fell and the man’s actions before and at the time of the railing falling. They regret he was hurt.

Since the accident, the attorney says his client has gotten a building permit to replace the balconies at the building.

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