The owners and management companies of Georgia Apartment complexes have what is referred to under Georgia law as a non-delegable duty to make sure that their apartments and the entire complex are safe and do not have any unsafe conditions that can cause injury or death to the occupants, their guests or anyone else who is lawfully on the premises. This duty would extend to workers who are delivering packages for UPS, Federal Express and Amazon during the busy holiday season in Atlanta, as well as others who come onto the property for lawful purposes. In their wrongful death lawsuit filed in Fulton County State Court a toddler’s parents allege that their apartment complex in the Lindbergh area of Atlanta was negligent by not having any safety features in the window, as required by building codes, and that this lack of safety features was the proximate cause of their son’s tragic death. The toddler was curious, looked down through the windows and was able to squeeze through and feel to his death.
As mandated by the International Building Code, which has been adopted by the state of Georgia and which sets the standard for safety in apartment complexes, an exterior wall window within 3 feet of the floor must have safety devices if opening the window would allow an object 4 inches in diameter or larger to otherwise pass through.
In response to the lawsuit, the complex’s owner, ignored a request for comment on the lawsuit. However, lawyers have indicated that after the toddler’s death, the complex installed safety features on the windows that would have avoided the death.
Under Georgia law, such subsequent remedial measures are not admissible at trial for public policy reasons. In other words, if apartment complex owners knew that installed subsequent safety features would be used agains them at the trial of a death case, they would be hesitant to make the subsequent remedial measure since they would not want to lose the lawsuit. Because of this, the rule in Georgia and in most other states is that these subsequent remedial measures are usually not admissible at the trial. However, this information can certainly be used in mediation and settlement negotiations in an effort to settle a case like this prior to or after filing a lawsuit.
For over 25 years, Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling dental malpractice, medical malpractice and apartment complex injury lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured or died as a result of the negligence or malpractice of others in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He is a partner in the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC and regularly handles cases in Atlanta as well as Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, College Park, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Smyrna, Peachtree City, and other cities in Georgia. He is committed to making a difference in his clients’ lives. If you or family member have been seriously injured or died as a result of apartment complex negligence and would like quality legal representation or if you would just like to consult about a potential case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.