Schemery Zicolello

Dangerous properties subject to demolition to avoid injuries

Pennsylvania property owners are responsible for maintaining and fixing their property so that it is safe for others. When property is allowed to decay, serious injuries can occur.

This duty extends to when construction is being performed on the building. The property owner, needs to ensure that those working on the property have taken the necessary and proper safety precautions in order to protect others. While construction zones can be inherently dangerous, without safety precautions the risks increase.

Following a building collapse that killed six people during a demolition last year, some local Pennsylvania governments have taken the issue more seriously. In particular, the city of Philadelphia has adopted a series of regulations that are meant to prevent injuries from unmaintained and dangerous properties.

Under these regulations, when property owners fail to maintain their property the city will step in and order the demolition of the property. The demolition is done quickly by a group of pre-approved contractors after a safety plan has been submitted. The hopes are that the safety plan will prevent injuries during the demolition and that the community will be safer without the building.

When unfortunate injuries do occur to people on another person's property, the property owner may be held liable if the person was acting negligently. In other words, people have legal rights when negligence maintenance creates dangerous property conditions that lead to injuries. This can mean not making necessary repairs, allowing water to sit on floors or failing to warn people about other hazardous conditions. In these cases, the injured may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more caused by the accident.

Source: News Works, "Demolitions are speedier in Philly, but are they safer a year after building collapse?," Holly Otterbein, June 5, 2014

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