Nadeem Anwar Indicted for Alysson Pinto-Chaumana Wall Collapse Death 

Thursday, March 24th, 2022

It was a warm summer day in August of 2019 when 5-year-old Alysson Pinto-Chaumana went with her mother to visit a relative in Bushwick. Accompanied by a few friends, the mother and daughter had paused on an enclosed patio, waiting at the front door of a three-story building on Harman Steet. Suddenly, while her mother watched in horror, the top of the 3-foot-tall by 6-foot-long ornamental granite fence in the front yard came crashing down on the little girl, crushing her skull.  

“I saw it all come down, crushing her head,” her mother, Maria Lorena Chaumana later said, “I desperately picked her up — I picked up my daughter, crying out to her.” 

The sound of the impact and the mother’s screams brought neighbors rushing out to see what was wrong. An ambulance just happened to be passing on the street, and the panicked group signaled the EMTs over. They carried her tiny bleeding body to the ambulance, but it was too late. The severe weight and force of the wall had claimed Ashley’s life. Her broken body was whisked away to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alysson’s mother, family, and friends who had to live through this tragedy. 

What caused this fatal wall collapse and who is legally responsible for the death of young Alysson? The wall had been constructed in 2018 by 46-year-old Nadeem Anwar, a licensed contractor in Nassau County, but was not authorized to file work permits in New York City. In fact, he allegedly asked another contractor to file the permit application for the façade work on the building. But even the attempts to gain those permits did not extend to the stone wall. It was allegedly built without a permit at all.  

The wall violated NYC building code in multiple ways. After an inspection by a New York City building engineer, it turned out that the wall had no steel reinforcing bars. With only gravity and its own weight, the wall was, as prosecutors later said, “highly unstable.” They also stated that it was an “egregious violation of multiple provisions of the building code.” 

And even after building the faulty wall without regard to the building code, Anwar did not order an inspection. The NYC building code requires a licensed engineer or architect to inspect the work. Anwar’s disregard of the safety regulation built into city building code directly led to little Alysson’s death in 2019. 

Anwar and his company, City Wide Construction and Renovations, Inc., have both been charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, offering a false instrument for filing and falsifying business records. 

The relatives, friends, and Ashley’s mother will have to live without the bright smile of a once vibrant little girl, all due to the negligence of a contractor that could not be bothered to secure the proper work permits. Ashley’s mother described her as “so smart,” and “My life. My love.”  

The death of this innocent 5-year-old girl could have been prevented.  

Building codes and permits exist to ensure the safety of little girls like Alysson. No shortcuts should be taken when filing safe and detailed plans for construction. Negligent construction companies like City Wide Construction and Renovations, Inc., may try to save money and time by either not filing permits, not adhering to those plans, or forgoing inspections. In the case of Anwar, he neglected to do all three of these. 

At Block O’Toole & Murphy, we understand how negligent construction practices can shatter lives and destroy families. Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping accident victims and their families. We are experienced in recovering compensation that can ease pain and suffering in the wake of tragedy. 

Notable results for victims of wall and ceiling collapses include: 

  • $9,000,000 settlement for a minor who suffered multiple fractures and other arm injuries after a wall collapsed on him in a Nassau County shopping center
  • $5,850,000 settlement for a woman who required multiple spinal surgeries after her apartment ceiling collapsed 
  • $2,250,000 settlement for a woman who was injured after a partial ceiling collapse occurred in her apartment due to water damage from upstairs 

To discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys today, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form online.


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