Injury or death due to falls from windows can be the basis for a Georgia premises liability lawsuit – an area of law with which Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, Atlanta injury attorneys, have extensive experience.
Georgia Window Fall Cases
Our Atlanta premises liability attorneys have handled several Georgia window fall injury and wrongful death cases. One case involved a young woman who fell out of a hotel window; another involved a young woman who was forced to jump from a window because of an apartment fire and the firm is currently litigating the tragic wrongful death of a 19 month old boy.
On the 4th of July, a 19-month-old boy died after falling from a window in a common area of his apartment complex in Buckhead. The boy went to the window regularly to gaze out, but on this day, the window was open and by the time his mother realized it, it was too late.
As noted in the lawsuit and the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, the International Building Code (which has been adopted by the state of Georgia) requires exterior wall windows placed within 3 feet of the floor to have some type of safety device if the window would otherwise allow an object 4 inches or wider to pass through. This one did not. That the window might be open never occurred to his mother, as it looked the same both open and shut.
Soon after the toddler’s death, the apartment complex began taking steps to install safety features, such as permanently sealing and bolting all similar windows. The one from which he fell now has a metal grid covering. His parents are seeking unspecified damages.
Other cases involving windows include the following.
In 2015, a college quarterback from Mississippi was injured after falling 15 feet through a hotel window in Atlanta, suffering multiple cuts and bruises.
In 2017, a 2-year-old girl incredibly managed to avoid serious injuries despite falling out of a three-story window at her apartment complex in DeKalb County. A former resident told a local television station that he wasn’t surprised by the incident, given that the windows are situated on the floor. “It would be easy for anyone to fall out.”
In 2018, jurors ordered a Georgia window manufacturer and installer to pay $18 million to the family and estate of a man who died in 2015 after falling from a third-story office building in Gwinnett County. Expert window testimony indicated that whether the man put slight pressure on the window or simply lost his balance, the window should have held – but for the reportedly negligent manner in which it was installed.
Some of these cases involve a type of glass known as annealed glass, known to be more prone to breakage and shattering than tempered safety glass. Sometimes, older hotels have windows that don’t meet current building codes but are grandfathered in. These windows can still often be made safer with seals, rails, and locks. Failure to do so resulting in injury can be grounds to assert negligence and liability. Even if windows do meet building codes, a property owner can still be held legally responsible if evidence showed they failed to use ordinary care in keeping the site and its approaches safe.
Preventing Window Falls
Property owners bear a major responsibility when it comes to ensuring windows are safe for building occupants. Often, local, state and even international building codes come in to play.
Contact a Georgia Premises Liability Lawyer
There is much that goes into preparing any civil litigation case involving serious injury or death. That’s especially true with premises liability cases involving people falling through or out of windows. One should consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible so the lawyer can obtain or preserve evidence and also evaluate whether there is a case to pursue.
The foregoing answers are not legal advice and are merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. For more information or to inquire about a free consultation, contact Stephen D. Apolinsky, an experienced Atlanta injury attorney, at Apolinsky & Associates at (404) 377-9191 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.