Family of toddler killed in May Va. fall sues apartment owner

WASHINGTON — The family of a 3-year-old boy who fell 26 stories to his death from an apartment window at the Skyline Towers Apartments in May is taking their fight to court after a second child’s fatal fall.

According to their lawyer, the family of 3-year-old Syed Noor Zaidi expedited the lawsuit following another fatal fall on Monday, where a 2-year-old boy fell 24 stories from a balcony at the same Fairfax County complex. Police say the adult watching the toddler in the latest incident was occupied with another child when the toddler fell off the balcony.

Zaidi’s family is suing the building owner, Equity Residential, and the property manager for $100 million for negligence, saying they knew the windows were dangerous. Lawyer Kim Brooks-Rodney that while the two incidents happened under different scenarios, Monday’s prompted her to expedite the filing of the lawsuit.

“It’s to bring about awareness; we don’t want another child to die,” said Brooks-Rodney.

So far, there have been four incidents involving children at Equity Residential apartment buildings, three at Skyline Towers including a nonfatal 2015 fall and another fall at an Equity Residential property in Minnesota last month.

“It may turn out that this is a problem that the owner and property management company have been aware of for quite some time,” said Brooks-Rodney.

While she acknowledged screens are not meant to keep kids in, and they’re not suing the screen manufacturer, she said safety measures, including labels, should be put in place to alert parents to the dangers.

Brooks-Rodney said Zaidi’s parents didn’t know about Monday’s fall until she told them about it this week.

Equity Residential has not responded to requests for comment.

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