Union Square

Lawsuit: Falling Chair From NYC Balcony Left Woman With Brain Injuries

NBC Universal, Inc.

Annabel Sen had it all: a degree from Brown University, a Manhattan finance job and an acceptance to Harvard to get her Master's Degree. But then a stormy afternoon put everything on hold.

Sen was crossing the street near Union Square on Jan. 25 when a lounge chair from a balcony got picked up by the wind and landed on the 24-year-old, according to her lawyer who said the impact left her with a brain injury.

Video from that day shows the terrace furniture on the sidewalk, under a cover placed by authorities. Sen was rushed to the hospital and she had to undergo emergency brain surgery. It was one of three she had to endure.

"She's in major rehabilitation to be able to walk better, to be able to gain her memory back, to be able to talk better," said attorney Benedict Morelli. "She's only 24 and she has her whole life ahead of her."

Morelli says the blame falls on several people tied to 15 Union Square West Building from where the chair fell.

"This isn't an act of God, where she's crossing the street and hit by lightning. She was hit by a lawn chair that doesn't belong on the terrace on January 25th," Morelli said.

Sen is suing the building owners, the management company, the men leasing the 12th-floor penthouse at the time of the incident and Michael Rubin, the co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and owner of the company that controlled the penthouse.

A spokesperson for Rubin says the businessman has not lived in the building for well over a year and that the apartment was rented out, but Morelli argued that's no excuse. The men who rented the penthouse had no comment.

"We're hoping that she'll get back most, if not all, of her prior self," Morelli said.

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