Child Burned by Toppling Oven in Virginia Apartment is Awarded $3 Million
By Bill O'Mara, Virginia Premises Liability Lawyer
Anyone who has lived in rented accommodation will know there are good and bad landlords. When landlords and property managers fail to install important safety systems, the consequences can be serious and even tragic for tenants.
Recently, the failure by a landlord of an apartment complex to make a cooker safe led a four-year-old being seriously burned. All cases are unique, and we cannot guarantee the same result in a given case, but a settlement of $3 million was reached, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported.
The boy was injured when he was playing with another boy in the apartment rented by his family. His mother was cooking noodles in the kitchen on a free-standing range.
As the boys’ mothers sat in the living room, the two boys ran into the kitchen and leaned on the oven door of the range. Unexpectedly, the range toppled over and scalded the boys with boiling water.
The range fell over because the landlord and property manager had failed to install the necessary anti-tip bracket on the range.
The four-year-old boy was burned on 20 percent of his body. When injuries occur to children in Virginia, the consequences are often serious, and a child can be impaired for the rest of his or her life. A lawsuit was filed against the landlord and property manager in Fairfax County Court.
The landlord and property management company had failed to comply with rules in place since 1991 that require all free-standing ranges in rental properties to have anti-tip brackets installed. About 80 percent of 1,065 units in the apartment complex lacked the bracket, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported.
The family had lived in the complex for two years during which time the property manager un-installed and re-installed the range on three separate occasions, but failed to put the bracket on it.
The case was settled by the landlord and the property manager for $3.01 million 10 days before the trial. A lawsuit had also been settled with the manufacturer of the range for an undisclosed amount. Congratulations to the attorneys for the plaintiff Robert Stoney, Peter Everett, Mark Towery, Chidi James and Jessica Sura of Blankingship & Keith, PC, and co-counsel David Nestor.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Virginia Apartments
This case involved personal injury and premises and products liability. Landlords and owners of businesses have a duty to ensure the safety of people who are on their premises. The residents of badly maintained apartment complexes can face many dangers. In 2013, two residents of the Swanson Homes apartment complex in Portsmouth died of carbon monoxide poisoning, reported the Virginian-Pilot. The Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority overhauled the heating systems after the deaths.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an apartment, store, restaurant, or any other premises due to the fault of a landlord, property owner or manager, call us at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation.