Many families in urban cities similar to St. Louis have chosen, out of necessity or preference, to live in high-rise apartments. Premises liability for an apartment or other multi-family housing building is a serious issue throughout the country.
Two high-rise apartments in two different states recently made national news for fatal fires started near New Year’s Day 2014. If you have been injured due to a fire or other dangerous condition on rented or leased property, you should recognize that you have legal rights. If you have suffered physical injuries resulting in medical bills or lost time from work, these can be quantified as damages in civil court. Consulting with a skilled personal injury and premises liability attorney who will help you navigate the legal system.
An apartment blast and fire started on New Year’s Day in Minneapolis left three dead and over thirteen badly injured. The explosion may have been caused by a gas leak, but the official cause has not been revealed. In this situation, the entire apartment building required demolition following the explosion, leaving not only devastating and life-ending injuries but also displaced families in its place. A second deadly high-rise fire in January occurred in New York City, and claimed the lives of at least one person. The cause of that fire is also under investigation.
Unfortunately, for apartments and other multi-unit dwellings these types of incidents are not entirely uncommon. Property owners owe the duty of care to residents (and even invitees, or visitors) for shared common areas such as walkways, pools, laundry rooms, and other gathering areas.
In addition, the building’s structural and infrastructure safety must also be maintained properly. The tenant’s actions must also be proper; so for instance, minding posted warning signs against starting balcony fires would not be imputed to the property owner. In the two linked stories above, it is still unclear how the fires began or whether the property owner should be held liable for the resulting wrongful deaths or personal injuries.
If you find yourself injured following negligent maintenance or other dangerous property conditions, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in premises liability for help.