Binding Arbitration Decision - Homeowner Not Liable for Chimney Collapse May 2013
Scott D. McKenna and Mathew K. Hargrave
Plaintiff pest control technician fell 24’ off the roof of Defendant's rental property when the chimney collapsed. Plaintiff claimed the property owner failed to maintain the chimney and failed to have any inspections done on the property. The defense argued that Defendant had no notice of any dangerous condition and Plaintiff was solely at fault for relying on the chimney’s stability, failing to test the chimney, and failing to secure his ladder. Plaintiff suffered severe pelvis and hip fractures resulting in $135,000 in medical bills and lengthy rehabilitation with claimed permanent pain and disabilities. Plaintiff also claimed $650,000-$1,155,000 in wage loss. The case was submitted to Binding Arbitration by agreement of the parties and the arbitrator agreed with BVH's arguments and found in favor of Defendant.