A quiet evening slid into dangerous grounds at a family gathering on Chimney House Court, reports WSBTV, in a story that will scare those who like porches and decks.
During late Sunday afternoon in DeKalb County, a number of people had gathered at a house deck for a family gathering when the deck apparently collapsed under their weight.
The Fire Department responding to the DeKalb County deck collapse investigated and found that the deck fell inwards so the people standing on it slid down and landed against the house, reports WSBTV. The odd deck collapse prevented more severe injuries like the sort a straight down fall might have inflicted. Its unclear if other people witnessed the fall from their patios and decks.
The house was not that old, said the investigators, though it did have some rotting wood and possible termite damage.
Despite any family feeling that might prevent it, it is possible that these hurt in the deck collapse may be able to pursue a claim against the owner of the house for their injuries.
There are three classes of people to whom a homeowner generally owes various levels of responsibility. They are:
- Invitees --Someone invited to carry out a contractual task, like a gardener. Homeowner owes ordinary care.
- Licensees --Someone invited as a guest, like a friend invited to dinner. Homeowner owes enough care to prevent injury from known danger.
- Trespassers -- Someone uninvited, like a burglar. Homeowner owes ordinary care only if he or she could reasonably anticipate trespassers.
In this case, family guests would be considered licensees. The operative question will be whether the homeowner knew about the possibly rotten and termite infested nature of the deck. Perhaps Chimney House Court is an area where many patios and decks have seen the same kind of damage. As such, it will be important for the personal injury lawyers to speak to the neighbors.