FALLS CHURCH, Va. - A family has filed a lawsuit against the owner of a Fairfax County apartment building and its property manager after their child died falling from an apartment window earlier this year. The lawsuit comes three days after another child was killed falling from the same building.
Syed Zaidi said the children’s deaths could have been prevented and his family is demanding the Skyline Towers Apartments to undergo inspections, replace windows and air conditioning units and notify residents about the risks and dangers.
Zaidi’s 3-year-old son was killed in May after falling from the apartment building on Seminary Road. The most recent tragedy happened on Monday after a 2-year-old fell from a balcony on the 24th floor.
“It has happened before that and no actions were taken,” said Zaidi. “No policies, procedures were put into place.”
Now, the Zaidi family is hoping to force change at the Falls Church apartment building.
“No. 1, they [need to] change the windows,” said Zaidi. “No. 2, this has happened in the balcony – change the balcony. No. 3, the design because the design is made in a way where the air conditioning unit is placed right in front of the window so it makes it look like a ladder for a kid to step on it.”
The Zaidis lost their only child when he reportedly pressed against a window screen and fell 26 stories to his death.
“It is the same side of the building, same building, only two floors down,” Zaidi said. “I don’t know. I think we need to shake those people. They are sleeping – the management is sleeping. They need to wake up.”
A 3-year-old girl also fell from a fifth-floor window at the apartment building in 2015, but survived.
Skyline Towers' property manager Equity Residential emailed FOX 5 a statement saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time." Equity Residential also said it is working to assist the authorities in their investigation.
“All the strength we built from the day it happened to yesterday is gone,” said Zaidi. “It's exactly as if it has happened today because only I know how those parents feel right now.”
The Zaidis’ attorneys said despite knowing in 2015 that there were window screens at the apartment complex that would give way if a child pressed upon them, Skyline Towers and Equity Residential failed to warn tenants with young children about the window screens.
The lawsuit alleges that a simple warning label on the window screen likely would have saved Syed Noor Zaidi's life.
The Zaidis are suing for $100 million.
FOX 5 attempted to ask Skyline Towers what changes, if any, have been made since the two toddlers fell to their deaths at the apartment building this year, but an on-site manager told us to leave the property.