Family of toddler killed after balcony fall launches lawsuit

The family of a toddler who fell to her death from a 20th-floor balcony in 2021 has launched a lawsuit against the building owner, those who designed the structure and the City of London. 

Inayah Netterwalla was two months shy of her second birthday when she fell through a gap between the building wall and the balcony railing on Oct. 2, 2021, at 400 Lyle St.

The lawsuit says her dad was watching her when she lost her footing and went through the gap. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful. 

“As a result of the defendants’ negligence, the plaintiffs have suffered, and will continue to suffer, from psychological and emotional trauma from seeing Inayah injured at the time of the accident and the following aftermath leading up to her passing,” the lawsuit alleges.

“The plaintiffs have sustained serious and permanent psychological injuries, including but not limited to traumatic neurosis, mental distress and nervous shock.”

Named in the lawsuit is Medallion Corporation, Century Building Restoration, HGA Architecture, HGS Limited, Skyline Windows and Railing, BOCI Engineering, the City of London and a city worker. 

The gap on the other side of Inayah’s family’s balcony is also about 140 mm wide. (James Chaarani/CBC)

The lawsuit seeks $3 million in damages for Inayah’s parents and $750,000 for the grandparents. 

The family alleges: 

  • Medallion failed to ensure the balconies were safe, didn’t repair the balconies when it should have known there was a danger, didn’t comply with the Ontario Building Code and didn’t properly inspect the guardrails and gaps. 
  • HGA, HGS, Skyline and Boci negligently designed and constructed the building and balcony in a way that presented a danger of injury or death and should have known that the balcony posed a danger, and used “improper building materials” on the balcony. 
  • The City of London allowed the building to be occupied despite the dangerous design of the balcony and failed to ensure it was safe for use and compliant with the Ontario Building Code. 
  • The City of London employee approved the building when he should have known that the gap between the wall and guardrail didn’t comply with the province’s building code. 

None of the allegations in the lawsuit have been tested or proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed yet. 

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