A New York designer is suing Anderson Cooper and the architect rehabbing Cooper's new Greenwich Village firehouse, claiming she was injured on the job when she fell through a hole in the floor. Where a firepole was.
We were made aware of Killian O'Brien's November 2009 complaint against Anderson via Joseph Culligan's Web of Deception. O'Brien, a graduate of UCLA's architecture and design school, claims she was doing unspecified contract work for Cary Tamarkin, the architect Cooper hired to renovate his new space, on September 22 of last year when she fell through an unguarded hole in the floor:
Neil Greenberg, O'Brien's attorney, told Gawker that "unguarded opening" was where one of the house's brass firepoles had been. "My understanding is that the poles had been removed," Greenberg says. "And the cutouts in the floor were capped. But somebody uncapped one of them." O'Brien was using "one of those laser pointer devices," Greenberg said, when she fell through. "Anderson had just left shortly before it happened," he said.
The complaint accuses Cooper, Tamarkin, and Firepatrol LLC, the company Cooper used to purchase the firehouse, of violating New York labor laws and general negligence. It says the injuries from the fall left O'Brien "sick, sore, and disabled" and that she "suffered severe and permanent personal injuries to her body" — Greenberg declined to offer any more detail than that on the record. "She's a wonderful and vivacious woman who had hoped for a quick and full recovery, but that didn't happen. She's still in physical therapy, trying to get back to the way she was." Greenberg also declined to specify how much money O'Brien is seeking, aside from confirming that it's more than $25,000, the minimum for New York Supreme Court.
"In commercial buildings," Greenberg said, "there's an absolute requirement that the owner and general contractor maintain a safe work environment. Cooper may have intended to have it rezoned as a residential building, which has different work rules, but at the time of the accident, it was still zoned as a commercial building."
We called and emailed Cooper but have yet to hear back.