John J. Malm & Associates Wins $545,000 Settlement for Victims Injured in Oakbrook Terrace Apartment Balcony Collapse
Attorney John J. Malm recently obtained a $545,000 settlement for the injuries including, a fractured arm, suffered by his clients when a third floor apartment balcony suddenly collapsed at an apartment complex in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. The collapse caused four people to suddenly fall to the ground, twenty feet below. Evidence collected by Mr. Malm, working with a structural engineer, showed that the balcony was over forty years old and had not been maintained to prevent water from damaging internal portions of the balcony’s wooden support structures (wood rot). Mr. Malm proved that the balcony structure was incapable of safely supporting even moderate weight loads when it suddenly failed, injuring two tenants and their two guests.
When the support beam for the balcony suddenly failed, it pulled away from the building and allowed the balcony to collapse, hinging downward and dropping the occupants to the ground. The property manager knew that the support structure for several balconies in the apartment complex, including the balcony that collapsed, were in need of immediate repair and/or replacement. The dangerous wood rot condition of the support beam occurred over a long period of time, and would have been apparent to the property owner during regular, routine maintenance, lawn mowing, painting, and cleaning.
During a site inspection, Mr. Malm discovered that the tops of the support beams were not properly sealed to prevent moisture from collecting and damaging the wooden supports. As a result, water repeatedly entered through this area over time and caused significant wood rod throughout the structural beams. According to Mr. Malm’s structural engineering expert, “The extent of rotted wood indicates that the capacity of these members to withstand the bending stresses resulting from loads imposed by persons standing on the balcony (live loads) in combination with the weight of the porch members (dead loads) would have been severely compromised and reduced.” The expert concluded that the overall maintenance and repairs at the apartment complex had been inconsistent, and too limited in scope to prevent an eventual failure.
For more information on premises liability in balcony, porch, and deck collapses, visit our information page HERE.Contact the Illinois Balcony Collapse Lawyers at The Law Offices of John J. Malm & Associates
If you have suffered an injury or loss as a result of a deck collapse, porch collapse, or balcony failure, contact the knowledgeable Illinois personal injury lawyers at John J. Malm & Associates. Our balcony collapse lawyers have successfully handled complicated structural failure cases, proving how structural design defects and maintenance lapses lead to sudden collapse. We are a team of experienced personal injury lawyers who represent individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. You may be entitled to a substantial settlement if you have been injured. Call 630-527-4177, or 312-422-6855, and speak with Attorney John J. Malm and his team today.