Schemery Zicolello

Family sues Pennsylvania building owner after fire kills woman

Not everyone owns their own home. Many Williamsport, Pennsylvania residents rent apartments, condos and houses for their personal use. In these cases, people rely on their landlords to keep the property safe. They should feel safe on the property and not fear for their safety. It is the landlord's duty to keep the property free from obvious danger. Things like inadequate lighting, hazardous conditions or negligent repairs can easily cause serious injuries to inhabitants.

Recently, the family of a woman that died in a Pennsylvania apartment fire has sued the building's owner. In this case, the family alleges that the woman died as a result of the owner's negligence. According to reports, a fire started in March 2013 in a third-floor bedroom and attic space and quickly spread. In total, four people were killed in the blaze.

The family says that the owner of the building failed to provide proper fire alarms, smoke detectors or fire escapes for the tenants of the building. Furthermore, the family says the owner failed to follow guidelines required by the local government that would have triggered an inspection of the property.

The family is seeking unspecified monetary damage in the suit. Families of the other victims of the fire have also indicated that they could take legal action against the building's owner.

Under Pennsylvania premises liability laws, property owners have a duty to keep people on their property safe. In order to meet this duty, property owners must avoid negligent behavior that could cause injuries. However, many property owners fail to live up to this duty. As can been seen in this case, a lawsuit can help those injured by negligent property owners and their families. A suit could cover expenses that arise from the injuries including medical costs, lost wages and more.

Source: Firehouse, "Family Sues Pa. Landlords Over 2013 Fire That Killed Four," Patrick Lester, April 24 2014

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Commonwealth v. Candice Steinbacher – Motion for Judgement Acquittal Granted

Motion for Judgment of Acquittal for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) prosecution was granted by Lycoming County President Judge Nancy L. Butts, after Attorney Kyle Rude argues that the Commonwealth could not prove Ms. Steinbacher was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Ms. Steinbacher was arrested after Williamsport City Police believed she switched seats with her boyfriend in order to avoid an arrest for DUI.

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