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Legal action taken in connection with balcony collapse

West Virginia residents may be familiar with a deadly incident that made national news in June 2015, the collapse of a California balcony during a birthday celebration. The incident resulted in the deaths of six college students as well as the injury of seven additional students when they fell 50 feet. Five of the decedents were from Ireland. Some of the families of those affected have now filed legal claims in connection with the incident. Information about the damages sought by the families has not been released.

Reports indicate that those being sued include the building's owner and manager along with the construction company responsible for erecting the apartment building. There have been reports that previous residents of the apartment in question had observed signs of rot, including the presence of mushrooms. The premises liability suit alleges that the management failed to close access to the affected structure in spite of knowledge of the problem. The case also alleges that the construction contractor contributed to the facility's susceptibility to water damage by using cheaper construction materials. Inspections by city personnel have revealed that critical supporting materials were completely rotted because of exposure to water. Criminal action might also be possible in connection with county officials' findings in the case.

The condition of a structure can be an important factor in an accident, and knowledge of a serious situation could result in serious liability problems for those who have contributed to or covered up adverse conditions. A resident might report dangerous conditions to a property manager, which would result in the manager's responsibility to correct the situation or otherwise protect tenants from danger.

An individual who is injured because of physical defects in a rental home or apartment might deal with varying degrees of damage based on the type of situation. A lawyer might be helpful for evaluating whether legal action is an appropriate action.

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