Woman Gets $35M in Damages After Skyscraper Glass Fell On Head

A woman has been awarded $35 million in damages almost a decade after glass from a skyscraper door shattered and struck her head, leaving her with brain damage. Meghan Brown suffered significant and permanent brain trauma while leaving her place of employment on Madison Avenue, New York City, in February 2015. While exiting the building, a glass door broke, sending flying shards through the air, striking her head. The incident left her with severe headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder, and light sensitivity, and doctors say the 36-year-old will likely develop early-onset dementia.

Ms. Brown was out of work as a JP Morgan analyst for a year after the incident but returned in 2016. However, she could not perform as before and was fired in 2021. She described “failing all the time” at her job to the point where she was embarrassed by her inability to function. Her fiancé ended their relationship upon realizing the couple could not enjoy a normal life together.

The compensation award followed a three-week trial during which jurors were shown footage of the incident, and Brown testified that she could no longer trust her own brain. Jurors took three days to reach a unanimous decision and found in the victim’s favor, saying negligence had been a “substantial factor” in causing her injuries.

The unusual side effects Brown suffered include loss of sense of smell and her inability to speak Spanish, which she once understood fluently. She also experiences neck pain, depth perception difficulties, and struggles to find her balance.

Media reports say the defense team of the company that operated 271 Madison Avenue attempted to characterize the incident as a freak accident, but Brown’s team said previous problems with the door in question went unaddressed.

The former analyst now lives in Florida and has opened a small Gelato store. She said she is still adjusting to life with permanent injuries and has let go of her dream of a high-flying financial career in New York.