MSNBC reports that, just this morning, more than 50 people were hurt when the floor collapsed during a party at an apartment building. Though fortunately no one was killed in the incident, several of the partygoers suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to area hospitals after the floor’s collapse dropped more than 100 partygoers from the second floor to the first floor.
Although authorities have not yet determined what caused the floor to collapse, if the building gave way as a failure on the part of building management to properly maintain the apartment complex, those in charge of maintenance could potentially be held legally responsible for injuries that occurred as a result of their negligence.
As it would apply to a similar situation in Illinois, premises liability law is a significant branch of Illinois personal injury law that allows victims to recover after they have been injured on another person’s property, and the negligence of the property owner was the cause of that harm. In order to apply to a set of circumstances, premises liability law requires a number of factors to be satisfied: the defendant must be the owner or possessor of the land, or “premises” – in this case, the defendants would be the company responsible for maintaining the apartment complex. Additionally, the person or persons on the land of another must be injured by negligence or a different wrongful act; in this particular situation, the apartment managers had a duty to maintain the building.
Going one step further, if any of the injuries resulting from the building’s collapse were to lead to the death of one of the partygoers, an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit might be an appropriate remedy. Wrongful death is the legal concept that arises when a person’s death has been caused by the fault or negligence of another person or business. In cases of wrongful death, family members and loved ones of the decedent can file a claim to potentially make the wrongdoer pay damages for things such as the loss of companionship, monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided, and expenses associated with the death such as funeral and burial costs.
Our Illinois personal injury lawyers have handled numerous cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the families of victims wrongfully killed because of someone else’s negligence. In fact, they obtained a $6.0 million settlement for the families of 6 children who died in a tragic apartment fire on Chicago’s north side because the landlords of the building failed to have proper and working smoke detectors in violation of the Chicago Municipal Code and the children were not able to escape the building in time. Additionally, they earned a $2.3 million Chicago fire injury settlement for two boys who were severely burned in a Chicago Housing Authority apartment fire.