As the weather becomes warmer, more of us are likely to be enjoying cookouts on the deck.
But while we often take the safety of decks for granted, a growing number of incidents of collapsing decks suggest they may not be as safe as many of us have thought. Recently a lawsuit in Virginia was settled for $2.3 million, against the owner of a property and a property manager.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported on a second floor deck collapse that broke the backs of a mother and two of her sons and caused “injury and emotional trauma for other family members.” Virginia injury attorneys acting for the family pointed to shortcomings in design and construction that may lead to more lawsuits over deck collapses in the Commonwealth in the future.
Five siblings and a mother were having a cookout on the deck when it dropped away from an apartment building and ended up on the patio below, according to the report. The mother and one son underwent spinal fusions in the wake of the deck collapse and one family member had ankle surgery.
See this video on why decks collapse
A building inspector later determined the deck’s ledger board was not properly anchored to the building. Fasteners were allegedly connected to rotten boards that were water damaged instead of the apartment’s structural components.
The case was settled before trial. The attorney for the plaintiffs was Matthew W. Broughton. All cases are unique and different and we cannot guarantee the same result in your case.
The article in Virginia Lawyers Weekly contained details of a number of similar deck collapses. In May, 2012 in Lynchburg, VA, six people were injured in a deck collapse. And a Portsmouth jury awarded $1.5 million to a man who suffered permanent ankle injuries from a 1999 deck collapse. An incident in 2005 led to a settlement of $375,000 in Virginia Beach.
If you have been injured in a deck collapse you may have grounds to sue the owner or managers of the property. Call our Virginia premises liability attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.