Another Brick in the Fall

A tenant noticed that a stone above the fireplace mantel was loose and about to fall. She was alarmed that it might fall and injure a child playing nearby. She tried to hold it, but it fell and injured her shoulder.

She sued her landlord for personal injury.

The tenants had not noticed any defects prior to the accident, and therefore had never asked the landlord to make any repairs.

There were signs of a previous repair, but no evidence to contradict the landlords’ testimony that there were no repairs in the seven years they owned the house, and they were not aware of any previous defects or repairs.

The tenants hired an architect who stated that there were “visible cracks” that should have been obvious to a non-professional. However, the cracks were not obvious enough for the tenants to notice and report to the landlords, and the landlords claim they were never aware of any defects.

The trial court dismissed the claim, and Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion upheld the dismissal.[1]

The case is unpublished, meaning it can not be cited as authority in other cases. Also, recent case law might alter this ruling in future cases.

However, it does illustrate the general notion that just because you are injured on someone else’s property, this does not mean the property owner or their insurance company is responsible under the law.

If you have been injured on another’s property you should ask a personal injury attorney to review your case.

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By personal injury attorney Travis Eller.

[1] Salde v. Yagen, Unpublished (No. 68145-1-1 FILED: April 29, 2013).

Posted in Premises Liability and tagged .