Parents sue after toddler falls to death from apartment window

Anthony Charles Hicks III loved to look out the windows to the street below his Buckhead apartment. It’s the last thing the curious 19-month-old did.

He and his mother were walking toward the elevator when Anthony looked down, then toppled out of the window in a common area of the apartment complex. There were no safety features preventing the fall, and Anthony hit the cement sidewalk five stories below. He died from his injuries the same day, July 4.

“It never even crossed her mind that the window would be open,” his parents’ attorney, Stephen Apolinsky, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It had never been open.”

In their wrongful death lawsuit filed in Fulton County State Court by Jay Sadd of Slappey & Sadd and Apolinsky, Anthony’s parents say the Core at Lindbergh complex was negligent by not having any safety features in the window, as required by building codes.

The International Building Code, adopted by the state of Georgia, says an exterior wall window within three feet of the floor must have safety devices if opening the window would allow an object 4 inches in diameter or larger to otherwise pass through.

Anthony Hicks II and Desiree Williams are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

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The complex’s property management company, Matrix Residential, said the apartment community is “deeply saddened by this tragedy” in an email to The AJC.

“We are taking this situation very seriously and have implemented safety precautions including permanently sealing all similar windows,” Matrix said. “Because the incident is still under investigation, this is all the information we can share at this time.”

After Anthony’s death, the complex installed safety features on the windows, Apolinsky said. The window where Anthony fell was bolted shut and a metal grid was installed, he said.

The day Anthony died, the lawsuit states, no such features were in place.

“Without any such features, a person approaching the fifth-floor window would be  prevented from readily discerning whether it was in a closed state or a fully unprotected state due to the fact it looked essentially the same regardless of whether it was open or shut,” the lawsuit states.

Anthony’s parents filed the lawsuit in hopes of preventing other families from enduring a similar tragedy, according to their attorney.

“They’re just trying to get by day by day, but they are still distraught over losing their son,” Apolinsky said.

Anthony would have celebrated his second birthday Dec. 3.