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Apartment Injury Lawyers


Apartment injury lawyer attorney sue lawsuit liability incident accident

Apartment building owners have a duty to ensure the safety of their tenants and visitors. One area where this duty is particularly important is the condition of steps and stairways within the building. When a tenant or visitor is injured due to a dangerous or defective step, the apartment owner may be liable for the resulting damages. In this blog, we will explore the liability of apartment owners for repairing steps at an apartment building, citing relevant case law and recent jury verdicts.

Legal Duty of Apartment Owners

The legal duty of apartment owners to maintain safe conditions for their tenants and visitors arises under the concept of premises liability. Premises liability holds that property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property and preventing injuries to those who come onto the property. The duty of the apartment owner to repair steps arises from this legal principle.

In general, the duty of an apartment owner to maintain steps in a safe condition requires them to:

  • Inspect steps regularly for signs of wear and tear or other damage
  • Repair any damage to steps promptly
  • Warn tenants and visitors of any known hazards associated with the steps

If an apartment owner fails to fulfill this duty and someone is injured as a result, the owner may be liable for the resulting damages.

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Case Law

A number of cases have addressed the liability of apartment owners for injuries resulting from unsafe steps. One such case is Davis v. White, 388 So. 2d 1337 (Ala. 1980).

In Davis, a tenant was injured when she fell on the steps outside her apartment. The steps were in disrepair, with some of the treads missing and others loose. The tenant sued the apartment owner, alleging that the owner had a duty to maintain the steps in a safe condition and had breached that duty.

The court agreed with the tenant and found the apartment owner liable for the injuries. The court held that the owner had a duty to maintain the steps in a safe condition and had failed to do so. The court also noted that the owner had notice of the dangerous condition of the steps, as several tenants had complained about them before the accident occurred.

Another case that illustrates the liability of apartment owners for unsafe steps is Bolick v. Linens of the Week, 498 S.E.2d 679 (Ga. Ct. App. 1998).

In Bolick, a tenant was injured when she fell on a stairway leading from the parking lot to her apartment. The stairway was in disrepair, with missing treads and loose handrails. The tenant sued the apartment owner, alleging that the owner had a duty to maintain the stairway in a safe condition and had breached that duty.

The court again agreed with the tenant and found the apartment owner liable for the injuries. The court held that the owner had a duty to maintain the stairway in a safe condition and had failed to do so. The court also noted that the owner had notice of the dangerous condition of the stairway, as other tenants had complained about it before the accident occurred.

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Jury Verdicts

Recent jury verdicts have also addressed the liability of apartment owners for injuries resulting from unsafe steps. One such verdict was reached in 2019 in a case called Curry v. Silver Tree Residential, LLC, No. 18-13354 (11th Cir. 2019).

In Curry, a tenant was injured when she fell on the stairs outside her apartment. The stairs were in disrepair, with missing treads and loose handrails. The tenant sued the apartment owner, alleging that the owner had a duty to maintain the stairs in a safe condition and had breached that duty.

The case went to trial, and a jury found the apartment owner liable for the injuries. The jury awarded the tenant over $1 million in damages.


 

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