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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Premises Liability > Premises Liability And Hurricane-Damaged Property

Premises Liability And Hurricane-Damaged Property


Now that Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday have passed, hurricane season is just around the corner.  If you have lived in South Carolina for a while, you have already invested in hurricane shutters, and if you live in a coastal area, you have a plan about which inland-dwelling family member or friend you will stay with if the governor orders a hurricane evacuation for your area.  Staying safe in a hurricane is a matter of preparation, but you have little control over how close the eye of the storm comes to your property.  For the first few days after a hurricane, fallen branches and debris-littered roads and walkways are a fact of life.  Premises liability laws require property owners to keep their property free from preventable hazards that could harm invitees, such as customers of a store or tenants of a rented apartment.  Which hazards are preventable in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, though, and who is responsible for removing them?  A Columbia premises liability lawyer can help you if you have been injured in a preventable accident on hurricane-damaged property.

Tenant Injured in Fall on Duplex Walkway That Was Undergoing Repairs After a Hurricane

An elderly couple rented half of a South Carolina duplex that suffered damage in Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  After the hurricane, the landlord hired a roofing company to repair the section of the roof where a tree had fallen; the roofing company hired another roofing company as a subcontractor to help with the repairs.  The roofing companies set up railroad ties at various locations on the property to make them inaccessible to vehicles as they worked on various parts of the roof.  They would move the railroad ties every time they finished one section and were ready to get started on another.

Three days after the hurricane, when the roofers had recently moved the railroad ties, the wife parked her car on a section of the driveway that was not blocked off.  Shortly after she got out of the car, she tripped over one of the railroad ties and fell, breaking her ankle and injuring her hip.  The couple sued both roofing companies and the landlord for premises liability.  Both companies settled with the plaintiffs, but the landlord denied responsibility for the accident.

The dispute between the plaintiffs and the landlord eventually went to trial.  The wife died a year and a half after the accident, of causes unrelated to the accidental fall, but the case continued between the husband and the landlord.  The court ruled in favor of the landlord.  The husband appealed the court’s decision, but the appeals court affirmed the ruling in favor of the defendant.

Let Us Help You Today

The premises liability lawyers at the Stanley Law Group can help you if you got injured in an accident at a rental property that was undergoing repairs.  Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.



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