Woman sues landlords for injuries received in arson fire

Woman sues landlords for injuries received in arson fire

A woman who was injured in an arson fire wants to hold the owners of the apartment complex accountable for the severe injuries she suffered. Her premises liability suit claims the landlords failed evict the resident who started the fire despite numerous complaints about his strange behavior.

The man and a building manager developed a dispute about antennae, which he believed were affecting his computer and his brainwaves. After the manager refused to take the antennae down, the man poured gasoline in front of her door and set a fire. Some neighbors were killed. The woman who filed the lawsuit jumped from her fourth-floor window as a result of the fire. She broke both feet, all 10 toes, fractured her back and suffered cuts and bruises. Her injuries required four surgeries. 

The premises liability suit claims that the building owners should be held accountable for the woman's injuries. While the resident who started the fire might seem like a more obvious defendant for a lawsuit, building owners have a duty to keep take reasonable care to keep property safe for tenants, guests and others.

According to the lawsuit, the man had mental health problems and was allowed to live at the apartment complex after threatening to sue. The managers were aware that the resident behaved erratically, harassed tenants and abused alcohol and marijuana at the apartments. The suit claims the managers had threatened to evict the resident multiple times but had not contacted authorities, warned tenants or taken any other steps to protect tenants. Through the lawsuit, the woman will determine whether the owners' actions were a failure in their duty to provide a reasonably safe environment.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Injured Tenant Blames Managers for Arson Fire," Sam Reynolds, April 15, 2013

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