“There was really no reason for this to happen,” attorney Benedict Morelli said

By Ally Mauch
September 25, 2020 08:08 PM
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Credit: Morelli Law Firm

New York City resident Annabel Sen is suing a property company owned by Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin after her head was caved in by a chair that fell from his penthouse.

According to a copy of the complaint shared with PEOPLE, 24-year-old Sen was walking down the street near Union Square on Jan. 25 when “a heavy wooden lounge chair” fell from a 12th-floor penthouse above and hit her.

She suffered a “severe traumatic brain injury” which required her to undergo emergency surgery at the time of the accident. Sen, who worked in private equity at the time and had applied to Harvard Medical School to pursue a master’s degree in the fall, has had two additional surgeries since and now lives with “permanent and debilitating injuries.”

Credit: Morelli Law Firm

“She has undergone three brain surgeries. We are hoping that she returns to full cognitive abilities, but the future is still unclear at this point. She suffered a horrific injury. Frankly, she’s lucky to be alive," her lawyer, Benedict Morelli, tells PEOPLE.

Morelli continues, "Annabel’s spirit and optimism are a testament to her character. She remains committed to her recovery and is making progress each day."

Sen is suing the penthouse owner, GR Realty Holdings, which is the holding company that Rubin owns. Other defendants listed include the condominium board, building management company, and the men leasing the 12th-floor apartment at the time of the incident.

A spokesperson for Rubin told NBC New York that he has not lived in the building for over a year. Representatives for the sports team owner did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

“The piece of unsecured terrace furniture was caused to fall due to the carelessness, recklessness, and negligence of the Defendants, their agents, servants and/or employees,” the complaint said, adding that the defendants “permitted a foreseeable hazard to exist, and that foreseeable hazard—an unsecured lounge chair on a terrace 12 stories high in windy, rainy conditions.”

Following the incident, the building was issued a citation by the New York City Department of Buildings and was fined $6,250.

“Mr. Rubin and the other defendants should have foreseen the potential for this to occur and taken appropriate precautions," Sen's lawyer tells PEOPLE. "This doesn’t happen without negligence. It’s not an act of God. I’m going to hold them responsible."