Allston, MA– Last November, Sonya Bandouil, then a 23-year-old aspiring concert pianist, was buried under tons of concrete when the facade of Allston's Common Ground restaurant collapsed onto the sidewalk. Several were injured. Bandouil survived her life-threatening injuries and is suing the restaurant, building owner, and property manager for damages due to negligence.
Bandouil was walking with her boyfriend Alex Pankiewicz when the Common Ground facade came crashing down onto the Harvard Avenue sidewalk. The event occurred on November 4, 2018, allegedly as a result of building owner Moss Realty's failure to obtain necessary inspections.
WHDH reports that Bandouil's lawsuit includes "several counts of negligence on the part of Moss Realty LLP, owner of the building, Myer Dana and Sons, Inc., the company under contract to manage and maintain the building, and Badoinkas, Inc., the tenant of the building which operates the street-level eatery." The complaint also alleges that the custom sign for Common Ground was installed improperly, placing "substantial strain on the... building's facade and parapet."
Bandouil and Pankiewicz both sustained multiple injuries. Pankiewicz, though injured, worked with others at the scene to get Bandouil out from under the concrete. She suffered fractures to her skull, spine, ribs, pelvis, foot, leg, collarbone and jaw. One finger on her dominant hand had to be amputated due to the incident, which is obviously devastating to her career ambitions as a pianist.
Once Bandouil was freed from the collapsed concrete, emergency personnel transported her and her boyfriend to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She stayed there for approximately 12 days and did not leave the intensive care unit. Afterward, Bandouil was transported and transferred to the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for over two months while she recovered.
TBD how much Bandouil and Pankiewicz are seeking in damages, but much of their case will rest on the sad fact that Bandouil will likely be unable to pursue a career as a concert pianist, as she had hoped.
As a pianist and piano teacher, she has struggled with the thought of never playing again. One of her attorneys, Muhammad Aziz said, "Building owners and operators are under a duty to the public to ensure that catastrophic failures like this do not occur. An aspiring pianist’s career has been stolen from her, and this young couple is no doubt traumatized for life."
The lawsuit was filed on Monday in Suffolk County Superior Court.
Image via Twitter / @CommonGroundBOS