Michel Pierre, a 58-year-old man living in Brooklyn, was knocked unconscious and sustained serious injuries after a toilet exploded in his apartment.
He was reportedly pulling the handle to test the water pressure, but it’s unclear what exactly caused the toilet to explode.
Pierre is so terrified of the toilet exploding again that he now uses a rope to flush the toilet from a distance, behind the bathroom door.
“Clearly toilets are supposed to flush, not explode,” Sanford Rubenstein, Pierre’s lawyer, told New York Daily News. A lawsuit is being filed against the building’s management, Century Management, to determine the amount of damages Pierre will be paid to cover his medical expenses.
Porcelain shards attacked his face, arms, and legs, requiring Pierre to get 30 stitches, according to his lawyer. In photos posted on the New York Daily News, long scars stretch across Pierre’s right cheek and arm.
He was rescued by firefighters responding to a "utility emergency" and was treated at Methodist Hospital. The other three injured tenants who suffered from exploding toilets were taken to hospitals after they were bombed with porcelain in their bathrooms as well.
“This victim is entitled to damages for the serious injuries he sustained through no fault of his own,” Rubenstein told the New York Daily News.
The Caton Tower development is located in Flatbush. Before the Oct. 2 accidents, the water had been turned off in the building for maintenance work. “It certainly makes me think twice about flushing the toilet when the water’s been turned off,” Theresa Racht, a lawyer for the co-op board, told AFP. She notes that they are still investigating what went wrong, but reasons are still unclear.