With the recent devastating apartment building explosion in Silver Spring, we thought it was important to address the law surrounding this issue of premises liability. A blast of this magnitude usually would not happen absent some form of negligence
A property owner owes a duty of care to maintain safe premises for its tenants and any visitors. The property owner is responsible for common areas within the property, including lobbies, stairwells, and hallways. A property owner cannot be held responsible for unforeseeable dangers because they had no way to expect that this type of danger would occur. However, if the property owner knew or should have known of a danger and a tenant is injured because of that, the property owner can be held liable for the harm caused under the theory of negligence.
One example of where a property owner could be held liable for damages caused would be if a tenant reported to the property management that they smelled gas. The property management noted the report, but nothing was ever done after that to investigate the problem further. At a later time, an explosion occurs that is determined to be caused by gas. In this example, the property owner had notice of the potential hazard before any harm was suffered, yet no action was taken to correct the problem. As a result, the problem worsened and led to an explosion, which killed and injured several people.
While we wait to see what the exact cause of the explosion was, it is important to remember that property owners can be held liable for negligent acts or even lack of action that results in serious injury to another.
If you or a family member have been injured or killed in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, call us today for a free consultation at (301) 854-9000 or visit us online to learn more at http://portnerandshure.com