Late last month, our clients—Brandon and Christina Roy—experienced an unpleasant wake up as their apartment’s ceiling completely collapsed.
Hundreds of pounds of plaster-covered sheetrock and insulation plummeted in the early morning. Fortunately, no one was harmed when the collapse occurred after Brandon alerted his wife, Christina, upstairs after hearing the first crack.
“Had it not been for him, I would’ve stayed in the bed and not be here telling you this story,” said Christina Roy to CBS11.
For over 10 years, the married couple resided at the Davenport Apartments near the Dallas North Tollway and Belt Line Road. An official from Westdale Asset Management, the company that owns the property, said a water leak did not cause the collapse. He also mentioned that the insulation which was made from stone wool. The complex continues to investigate how the collapse occurred.
According to inspection reports by the city of Dallas, the Davenport Apartments have been cited numerous times since 2012 for cracks in exterior walls and sidewalks. Additionally, the Roys have complained about cracks in the ceiling for several years, but property managers failed to address these issues.
Due to the significant hardship the Roys have experienced, they hired MR Civil Justice in order to recover monetary damages for their losses. Additionally, they started a GoFundMe account to aid in moving expenses.
Suffered an Injury Because of Faulty Construction? You May Be Eligible to Pursue a Lawsuit
Unfortunately, the incident involving the Roys is not the only case of “spontaneous ceiling collapse.” There are many other similar cases happening throughout the United States.
Collapses specifically occur in homes built prior to the 1980s, when nails were used to secure ceilings. Over the years, building codes have changed to require ceilings be secured with screws rather than nails.
Accidents that are the result of dangerous or defective conditions on a property, whether interior or exterior, are known as “premises liability” accidents. Homes—along with commercial buildings and public property—can be dangerous for faulty design, inferior building materials or construction, lack of maintenance, or hazardous clutter.
The following are two elements to establish who is at fault for a premises liability accident:
- The property owner has a legal duty to anyone who enters or lives in the property not to subject these individuals to an unreasonable risk of injury due to the design, construction, or condition of the property.
- The injured party must use the property normally. Property owners are not responsible for injuries of individuals who acted in a dangerously careless, unexpected, or unauthorized manner.
For example, if a tenant or guest is injured in an accident on rental property, the party responsible for maintaining the area or condition that caused the accident is liable to pay for any losses suffered by the victim. The landlord is responsible for everything outside the apartment (entrances, hallways, stairs) and for the immovable objects inside (ceilings, walls, floors, fixtures, and appliances that came with the apartment), while the tenant is responsible for the movable items inside an apartment.
Let Our Dallas Personal Injury Attorney Help
Sudden ceiling collapse is a dangerous situation. Not only can this damage your home, but it can also cause serious injury or death. If you were injured due to a roof collapse and your landlord has failed to properly maintain the property, you may be eligible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. At MR Civil Justice, our Dallas personal injury lawyers are committed to ensuring that property owners and home inspectors are held liable for their lack of concern for your safety.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.