When children fall: Faulty windows and landlord negligence
Kids will be kids. As parents, we do our best to keep them safe. We remove suffocation risks from reach, buckle young children into car seats when driving and hold their little hands as we cross the street. But what happens when someone else fails to do their part and this failure contributes to injury or death?
Parents in Jersey City, New Jersey, recently had to find the answer to this question after their four year-old boy tumbled out of the window of their apartment. Their apartment was on the fifth floor and the young boy suffered catastrophic injuries that ultimately led to his death.
Who is liable for this type of accident?
Although the exact details of this accident were not released, similar accidents are not uncommon. Falling out of windows can happen for a variety of reasons. The window itself could be faulty or poorly maintained or the screen within the window could be broken or improperly installed.
If in a rental unit, the maintenance obligations are generally the responsibility of the landlord. A failure to properly maintain the windows could result in the landlord’s liability for any accidents that result due to this negligence.
How do I hold the landlord liable?
Actually holding the landlord accountable for a failure to provide a safe environment may require moving forward with a civil suit. This type of suit falls under the area of law referred to as premises liability.