Five Students Sue Landlord After Termites Cause A Balcony To Collapse
How often do you consider the possibility of becoming a hospital in-patient as a result of falling victim to termite activity? How could such a situation ever occur? Although it may seem unlikely to sustain lasting injuries as a result of termite damage, five college students and their lawyer would probably disagree with you. During a night of partying, a balcony collapsed, which injured five college-age people. The lawyer for the party-going college-aged kids, Robert Clayton, claimed that the owner of the apartment building is responsible for the balcony collapse as well as the resulting injuries.
Clayton has evidence that demonstrates that the apartment owner, Ronald Wolfe, knew about a termite infestation on the particular balcony, but did nothing to eradicate the wood-eating pests from the apartment, or the balcony. As a result of this negligence, Clayton has been threatening to take this dispute to trial. The owner’s lawyer, Robert Freedman, has claimed that although the allegations are somewhat true, the balcony actually collapsed because it was inhabited by too many people. Apparently, as many as twenty five adults had been present on the balcony before it collapsed.
In addition to the fifteen to twenty five adults that were overloading the balcony, the defendant is also claiming that the company responsible for building this particular apartment complex had failed to properly secure the balcony to the building. Wolfe believes that termites were not responsible for the balcony collapse; instead poor structural integrity, and too much weight caused the collapse
Once the balcony collapsed, five people were injured. Three injured people were located on the balcony as it fell to the ground, and two individuals were hurt as debris landed on them from above. One of the five plaintiffs sustained a fractured pelvis, which was the most serious of the injuries sustained as a result of the collapse. Luckily, none of the five students will be afflicted with permanent health problems.
The balcony wood had been inspected four months prior to the collapse. The inspector described the wood as “spongy,” and noted other abnormalities. However, the owner did not order any further investigation into the compromised wood that constituted the balcony. If, following the initial report, the owner had hired the services of an insect pest control professional, then the five students would never have been injured in the collapse. The students settled out of court for 1.65 million dollars.
Have you ever had a termite inspection done on property that you own or owned? Have wooden structures within your property ever been found to have been infested with termites? If yes, then how did you eradicate the termite infestation? Did you have to replace the wooden structure?