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Woman Sues GR Realty Holdings LLC After Chair Fell from Penthouse Balcony and Hit Her

— October 1, 2020

GR Realty Holdings LLC was hit with a negligence lawsuit earlier this week over a January 25th incident that left a young woman brain damaged.

Earlier this week, 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, was hit with a negligence lawsuit by a woman who was hit with a lounge chair when it “fell off a Manhattan roof and hit her, leaving her with brain injuries.” 

Lady Justice; image by Tingey Injury Law Firm, via
Lady Justice; image by Tingey Injury Law Firm, via

According to the lawsuit, the woman, Annabel Sen, was on her way to a lunch date with her boyfriend back on January 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.” The suit itself was filed with the Manhattan Supreme Court. Her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said, “How [the chair] didn’t kill her is a miracle honestly. She is very damaged but she is not dead.” Court documents further state:

“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.”

Before the incident, Sen was set to receive her master’s degree at Harvard this fall and was working for a private equity firm. She said the “lounge chair should have been secured on the terrace, especially since it was a rainy day with very windy conditions.” The suit claims:

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

Morelli added:

“There was really no reason for this to happen. 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.”

As a result of the incident, Morelli has had to leave her life in Manhattan to live with her parents in Connecticut. She is no longer able to work at her job and will not be able to attend Harvard to complete her schooling. Morelli said:

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

In addition to GR Realty Holdings LLC, 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.”


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