Porch Collapse Liability

Porch Collapse Liability

Jun 25

It may seem like a strange category for premises liability, but if one stops to think about it, we put a lot of faith in property owners or managers when we walk out into something like a porch or deck anywhere at any time.  This is what happened in 2003 when the worst porch collapse accident in US history happened in an apartment complex in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Thirteen people died while 57 people were seriously injured, most of whom were in their early 20s enjoying a party until about midnight, when the disaster occurred.

A porch collapse may occur when the construction is made of wood. The load-bearing capacity of even the sturdiest porch is limited, so it is property owner should know this and monitor the number of people and equipment that are on the structure accordingly. In Huntington Beach, for example, the porch stability can be affected by the weather or an event such as an earthquake, and the property owner should inspect it regularly for possible weaknesses. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® will probably need to look into the maintenance history of any porch that collapses resulting in death or injury. Failing to look out for the safety of the people who are allowed onto the structure translates into negligence, and can result in an actionable case.

The 2003 incident was finally resolved in 2013 when the courts ruled that the building owners and the insurance company covering the property were liable for damages totaling $16.6 million for the consolidated case of 40 plaintiffs. The awards were limited by the insurance policy terms.

Property owners need to understand the responsibility they take on when they invite people to come into their property. If you have suffered serious injury from the negligent acts (or lack thereof) of the property owners or managers, you should be the one to take on the financial burden. Consult with a porch collapse lawyer and find out your rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *