Apartment Windows: Look But Don't Fall
Article by Kenneth Krems for New England Assisted Housing Management Association publication
It happens every summer. You pick up the paper or turn on the news and learn that another child has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a fall from an upper story apartment window. Another tragedy that could have been prevented. Another potential major lawsuit against a landlord.
In a mill town a small boy falls out a window into a neighboring canal. Only the heroic efforts of office workers on the other side of the canal prevented him from drowning. A small girl falls out an upper story window to the pavement below and killed. Do you worry that this could happen someday at your property?
Generally, if an owner or manager of an apartment building knows that a potentially dangerous situation exists, but does not take reasonable steps to make the premises safe, there can be liability for a future injury. A child falling from a window is such a potentially dangerous event. Because juries know that these types of injuries occur with some frequency, they are delivering large verdicts against landlords who have not taken adequate precautions to insure that these falls will not occur.