Woman Left Disabled After Teen Lands On Her During Suicide Jump, Sues Deceased Teen’s Estate For Damages

Tara West - Author

Dec. 27 2017, Updated 2:40 a.m. ET

A 45-year-old woman was left permanently disabled after a teen landed on her during a suicide jump. The 18-year-old student, Rebecca Kim, jumped from an eight-floor apartment window in Philadelphia as Erica Goodwin, a Department of Human Services worker, was walking on the sidewalk below. The teen landed on Goodwin, causing severe injuries to her spine. The teen died on impact while Goodwin would suffer life-long disabilities.

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The Daily Mail reports that Rebecca Kim, a Temple University freshman, jumped from the ledge of a friend’s apartment window and landed on Goodwin, causing her to become permanently disabled as she sustained severe spinal injuries. Now Goodwin is suing the estate of the deceased teen, claiming that she has experienced extreme financial, physical, and emotional hardship due to the deceased teen’s actions.

Rebecca Kim’s death was ruled a suicide after it was revealed she posted a message to her Facebook account shortly before the jump, noting “it was intentional.” Kim’s cryptic message had no meaning until it was revealed that she either fell or jumped from the eighth-floor ledge of a friend’s apartment. Following the incident, the coroner determined that the death was a suicide, not accidental.

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The teen was a pre-pharmacy student at Temple University but was visiting friends in an apartment that housed Art Institute of Philadelphia students. The eighth floor of the apartment building was designated for the art institute students. Kim was visiting her friends when she told them that she wanted to go out onto the ledge to take a photograph with her camera. However, instead of taking a picture, Kim would jump to her death.


Unfortunately, the teen was not the only one physically affected by the suicide jump. Goodwin reportedly suffered seven fractures in the spine, broken ribs, a fractured shoulder, and several broken or chipped teeth. As a result of the spine injuries, Goodwin underwent a spinal-fusion surgery which has left her in pain and unable to work.

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Goodwin hopes to help pay for her life-long medical needs, inability to maintain a job, and emotional distress by suing not only the deceased teen’s estate, but also the property company who owned the apartment, the students who lived in the apartment at the time of the suicide, and the Art Institute of Philadelphia. The lawsuit alleges that the property company should be held liable for Goodwin’s injuries because not all of the windows were properly secured. It notes that some windows would slide open easily while others were bolted shut.

Philly.com reports that the lawsuit goes on to implicate the property company maintaining the building along with the Art Institute of Philadelphia, noting that they should have known that students often opened the windows and had been known to throw objects out causing “dangerous” situations for those below.

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“[The Defendants] were aware or should have been aware that students often opened the windows… and would throw objects from the windows or partake in other dangerous and unsafe behaviors.”

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Rebecca Kim’s uncle, Richard Sin, is managing the late teen’s estate and has also filed a lawsuit of his own against the property managers and art institute. Similarly to Goodwin’s lawsuit, Sin claims that the property managers and school should have known that the unsecured windows posed a danger to students and their guests.

Just prior to Rebecca Kim’s suicide, she created the video below outlining her aspirations for the future, noting that she hoped to find a new “home church” as she had yet to find one in the area. She notes she planned to “buckle down and study hard” while attempting to improve her social skills as she claims she is very “introverted and awkward.”

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[Image via Facebook/Becca Kim]


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