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79-year-old woman injured after fall at Columbine Towers apartments

Lawyer pledges lawsuit against management, citing Fair Housing Act
Exterior of Columbine Towers apartments
Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 17:16:38-04

DENVER — A 79-year-old woman was badly injured after falling on concrete stairs at the Columbine Towers apartments in Denver, her attorney says. Neither of the two elevators in the 15-story building have been working for more than two weeks — a story Denver7 covered the day before the incident in response to several messages from concerned residents.

It was around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon when Antonia Caballero says she returned to the apartment building with groceries and began the climb to her unit on the 14th floor.

79 year-old woman injured after fall at Columbine Towers apartments

“She made it up to the 10th floor before she couldn’t do it anymore,” said granddaughter Tiffany Ward-Esteras, translating for Caballero during the interview. “She fell down, hit her head on the right side and lost consciousness. She came back to when her neighbors were putting ice around her neck and water on her head. And she doesn’t quite remember a lot of details on the way to the hospital.”

Management of Columbine Towers told Denver7 on Friday they had instructed their 24-hour security guards to help residents up and down the stairs while the elevators remain broken. Other residents did confirm receiving assistance when Denver7 spoke to them Saturday. However, Caballero says Sunday afternoon, she was denied help by the guards present.

“It’s something [management] said, but they weren’t honest about it,” translated Ward-Esteras. “The day she fell on the stairs, there were two security guards downstairs. And when she mentioned to them that she needed help, they told her it wasn’t their job to help with bags or to assist, that they were there to take down names.”

When asked for comment Tuesday, the regional manager said property managers had not yet received any reports of this incident, but that they take it seriously and “will immediately commence diligent efforts to determine what in fact occurred and take appropriate action.”

Caballero is now being represented by attorney Jason Flores-Williams, who called the conditions at Columbine Towers “senior abuse” and said he will file a lawsuit in federal court in the coming days citing violations to the Fair Housing Act.

“The senior citizens are trapped because they can’t go up and down the stairs,” Flores-Williams said. “Disabled residents are shut in. The building is dangerous. This isn’t a landlord-tenant issue, but a matter of human dignity and civil rights.”

Management last week blamed supply chain issues for the slow repairs to the building's elevators, but told Denver7 they expected the elevators to be fixed by Friday, July 8.