Pardalis & Nohavicka Homeowner Liability Law Update: Deck Collapse During BBQ Causes Injury to Guest — Cook on the Hook
Having a deck for entertaining, especially in the city, is a wonderful thing to have and to share.
The Delgado family up in Chester, NY, had a BBQ and invited friends over to enjoy the day ion their backyard deck. Well, the deck collapsed. A guest was injured in the collapse and, quicker than you can say “pass the mustard,” sued the Delgados.
The Delgados explained that they had the home for only a few years. The prior owners had the deck constructed to code and the Home Inspector did not point out any defects. The deck appeared fine.The Delgados’s lawyers made a motion to dismiss the case. But the court did not dismiss. Here is why: this is a situation that students of the law call a RES IPSA case. That is shorthand for types of situations where something bad happens and the cause must have been some type of negligence. Decks that look okay do not just collapse; forceps are not just left in people during surgery; barrels do not just fall out is second-story windows hitting people on the head.
The Delgados’s deck collapsed; they had exclusive control over their deck; the injured guest did nothing to cause the deck to collapse — Type of accident that does not occur without negligence; exclusive control; no negligence by the injured person — RES IPSA!
Case goes to a jury.
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