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Building Owner Skipped Inspections Before Man Plunged From Balcony to his Death, DOB Says

By Test Reporter | March 17, 2010 1:44pm | Updated on March 17, 2010 3:37pm
A man fell to his death from the 24th floor balcony of 330 E. 39th Street in Murray Hill.
A man fell to his death from the 24th floor balcony of 330 E. 39th Street in Murray Hill.
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DNAinfo/Arturo Conde

By Lindsay Tigar

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — The owners of a building from where a 24-year-old man fell to his death from a balcony failed to have the hi-rise properly inspected, the Department of Buildings said Tuesday.

Three years before Sunday's tragic fall, when Connor Donohue plunged from the 24th floor balcony, Jennifer Towers Apartment Corp. failed to submit an inspection report and hire engineers to review the exterior of 330 E. 39th St.

Failing to submit the report caused the buildings department to cite building manager Pan Am Equities in December 2008, the Department of Buildings said.

The building currently has a partial vacate order issued against it by the Buildings Department urging residents to stay off their balconies because of the building owners' "failure to maintain balconies as per code."

The building also had several other complaints against it, department records showed. One was for an illegal conversion of an apartment; several involve the building's elevators not working.

In one complaint, "the elevator dropped one floor before the brake reacted," according to department records.

The revelations came as Donohue’s uncle, Barry Donohue, said the family is considering taking legal action, but for now, they are focusing on funeral plans.

“Shame on them. Shame on anyone that doesn’t follow the rules that are designed to protect the public,” Barry Donohue told the Daily News.

“There are good reasons for rules that are thorough, and if the rules are ignored, bad things can happen. And a bad thing happened here.”

Donohue, a 24-year-old New Jersey native, worked for SingleStop USA, a nonprofit who helps meet the basic needs of low income families, had devoted his life to giving back, and was loved by many, the Daily News reported.

Condolences, donations and flowers in Donohue’s honor can be sent to Frost Valley YMCA, 2000 Frost Valley Road, Claryville, N.Y., 12725. A scholarship is being established in Donohue’s honor, according the Record & Herald News.

Visitation will be at the Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, and a funeral Mass will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cassian’s Church, both located in Upper Montclair, N.J.