Last night, a Columbia townhome deck collapsed with several people on it. Five people were injured in the accident when the wooden deck completely detached from the back of the home. Pictures of the scene show the entire deck intact with patio furniture scattered about. The five people injured luckily did not suffer life-threatening injuries. The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
Last month, a report was released identifying a staggering number of deck and balcony collapses since 2003. The deadly balcony collapse in Berkeley last month triggered a closer look at this deadly phenomenon. Approximately 6,500 people have been injured in these deck collapses nationwide since 2003, with 29 of these people dying from their injuries. Experts say one reason for these collapses is due to the vulnerability of these structures to dry rot.If dry rot is left untreated, these decks and balconies become weak, which then increases the risk that the structure’s support can fail and lead to a collapse. Dry rot of wood occurs when water gets into a poorly ventilated area of the wood and is never repaired.
The deck involved in this Columbia collapse is made of wood, which brings the possibility of dry rot as a cause of the accident. Liability in this type of case could fall on the builder of the townhomes or the property management company if either party failed to regularly inspect the decks, especially if other instances of decks collapsing exist and neither party rectified the problem.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another person or a failure to maintain safe premises please call us today at (855) 954-4141 to set up an appointment at one of our office locations located in Columbia or throughout the rest of Maryland for a free case evaluation or visit us online.