Although owning a home is often part of the American dream, living in an
apartment does have its advantages. This is especially true if the apartment
complex offers on-site amenities like a swimming pool, workout facility
and designated recreational areas.
But apartment owners and operators who offer these amenities must first
and foremost ensure that they are safe. When residents are injured or
killed by equipment that is in disrepair or facilities that are otherwise
hazardous, the property owners could face a
premises liability lawsuit.
A recent example comes from Tennessee. The family of a 23-year-old man
has sued the apartment complex where he lived until his death in September
of this year. According to the lawsuit, he was fatally electrocuted by
a light pole while playing tennis on the apartment’s tennis court.
In late September, the victim allegedly walked near the light pole after
retrieving a tennis ball from outside of the court. His parents said:
“When he came into contact with the pole, he lost muscular control
due to the lethal current flowing through his body and was unable to remove
himself from the painful and fatal electrical shock. The defective light
pole caused [our son] to be electrocuted and killed."
Normally, utility poles are designed to keep electrical wires contained
so that accidents like this cannot happen. But for some reason, the “defective
electrical wiring within the pole caused the pole to become electrically
energized,” according to the lawsuit. His family is seeking approximately
$40 million in damages.
Premises liability lawsuits are an important way for individuals and families
to seek restitution when they have lost a loved one due to a hazardous
condition on someone else’s property. In addition to compensating
the victim’s family, this lawsuit will hopefully remind all rental
property owners that safety cannot be taken for granted.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “
Tennis Electrocution Leads to Lawsuit,” Kevin Lessmiller, Oct. 31, 2014