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The residents of a condominium community in Columbus, Ohio have been warned not to use their balconies due to the fear of collapses. The condo owners at The Falls at Hayden Run were told in June 2017 that their decks could no longer be used after a father and daughter were injured in a collapse the previous month. Apparently, the decks were only secured by 26 nails and lacked several safety requirements.
While the community association is working to fix the problem, many owners and residents may be wondering what legal action they may be able to take. The father and daughter that were injured have filed a lawsuit due to their severe injuries, however, condo owners may also be able to pursue legal actions on their own behalf.
Time Limit for Claims
For a personal injury or property damage claim related to a balcony collapse, the amount of time a person has to file a claim will be based upon the date of the injury. This can vary from state to state, based upon what the statute of limitations is in the state where the injury occurs.
However, for construction defect claims that relate to construction that's more than a couple years old, a statute of limitations could potentially bar your claim. Fortunately, many states have laws that allow a statute of limitations to not run (or be "tolled") if a defect is hidden. But, not knowing about something is different than a defect being hidden.
Construction defect claims are rather complex and nuanced. If you believe you have a claim, you should contact an experienced construction defect attorney to assess your particular situation. If a deck or balcony collapses, and it was professionally built or installed, there may be potential liability for construction defect, particularly if it was well maintained.
Liability of Condo Association
Frequently, when property owners live in communities that provide for landscaping and other maintenance services, a failure to properly maintain or inspect can result in the association's liability, much like a property management company. However, property owners should carefully consider bringing claims against their association after consultation with an attorney, as doing so can often lead to an unpleasant neighborhood environment.