Property owners and building managers are responsible for ensuring public and private grounds are kept safe and well-maintained to prevent any tenants and guest from being physically endangered. Unfortunately, not everyone with such authority adheres to their legal duty and too many cut corners or ignore pressing structural and organizational issues; choices that ultimately lead to serious injury, illnesses, and even fatalities.
The Ghost Ship Example: Dangerous Premises Leading to Wrongful Death
Americans saw a grave example of this with December’s Oakland warehouse fire in which 36 guests and tenants were trapped and killed. Family members of two of the victims have since filed lawsuits against eight defendants with authority over the property, accusing those individuals of negligence, premises liability, negligent failure to evict, dangerous premises, and wrongful death.
It is likely there will be more such suits filed by victims of the Ghost Ship fire in the coming days as it becomes even more apparent that the warehouse defined dangerous premises. Reports indicate that the building was not in compliant with local or state building codes, lacked appropriate permitting, lacked sufficient electrical infrastructure, was not properly being leased, and even had a minor electrical fire the night before the incident.
Holding Property Owners and Others Accountable
There is every indication that the property owners and managing tenants of the Ghost Ship warehouse knew the prevailing issues with the property, yet they failed to act to solve them before the fatal fire. It was their duty to ensure premises were free of known hazards and defects that could cause harm and to fix dangerous conditions.
While California may seem far away, there are many similar such cases of property neglect and premises that are just as dangerous right here in Chicago. While the property owner has primary legal duty to ensure premises are safe, other people like a manager, contractor, or facility organizer also can be held responsible for the property’s condition.
Our Chicago wrongful death lawyer firm has experience trying a variety of cases involved in premises liability wrongful death claims. Examples of such include fatal injuries or deaths resulting from:
- Negligent security
- Negligent education or day care staff
- Exposure to toxic or otherwise harmful substances
- Malfunctioning elevators, defective stairs, and poorly maintained walkways
- Dog bites and other pet animal attacks
- Swimming pool accidents either from electrical failures or situations surrounding a drowning
We have brought such claims against business owners, landlords, property owners, private homeowners, and even the government. Each case varies, some being more complex than others, depending upon the specifics of the accident and persons or organizations involved. For more information about dangerous premises, premise liability, and wrongful death, contact our Chicago wrongful death lawyer firm today.