Not all premise liability claims are simple cases of slips and falls. A case in Bridgeport, CT recently netted $825,000 for a plaintiff who sued over a fire in which a woman and three children died.
The house fire occurred in 2005 and the claim sheds some light on how premise liability claims can sometimes literally be over life and death matters.
The lawsuit was filed against the Fire Marshall’s office in the City of Bridgeport over inspections. According to the lawsuit, there were not inspections done on the home where the victims perished and there were obvious violations of codes. For example, after the fire when the marshal inspected the home, it was found to have no smoke detectors, to have one of the doors nailed shut and blocked and to have had burglar bars on the windows, preventing egress. The owner of the building was given a three-year suspended prison sentence on counts of negligent homicide, according to The Hour.
Inspect Your Apartment
Ideally, all landlords would go out of their way to make sure that their tenants are safe in the properties that the landlords own. This, of course, isn’t always the case, so it’s a good idea to make sure you do have some way to get out of your apartment or rental house in the event of an emergency. Some of the things you’ll want to look for include:
- The fire extinguishers and when they were last inspected
- Whether the smoke detectors are working
- Make sure there is a fast way out of the house in the event of a fire
You also may want to consider getting additional safety equipment. For example, there are collapsible ladders that can provide a means of speedy exit in the event that you’re cut off from a downstairs doorway. A little bit of care in inspecting your own property might just save your life. If your landlord is a good one, they’ll fix anything that you discover wrong with the building and will have fire inspections as required by the law.
If you were injured in a rental property, it might be worth your while to sit down with premise liability attorney and discuss the matter. It can be hard to determine whether or not you were to blame or the landlord was to blame, in some cases, so talking to an attorney is the best way to get a clear answer.