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Lack of repair to home leads to serious injuries

The summer months are a popular time for people in West Virginia to spend time with family. Some families plan reunions where members travel from all over the country to spend a few days with each other. Other people plan smaller family gatherings or vacations. These reunions and vacations can create lasting memories for families, and photographs are a common means of capturing the event to remember it for many years.

For one family, a recent reunion during the Fourth of July weekend turned into a frightening event that will lead to the wrong kind of memories for the people involved. The family was vacationing at a rental house in another state, and more than 20 people went out onto the deck of the house to pose for group photos. The deck collapsed, dropping the people about 14 feet to the ground.

Emergency responders transported victims, whose ages ranged between 5 and 94, to the hospital where they were treated for injuries including broken bones and spinal injuries. Two of the victims were in critical condition from the accident. It appears that the accident was caused by nails that had corroded.

Hazardous conditions on decks and other parts of aging homes is a problem throughout the country. According to NBC News, roughly 40 million homes around the country have decks that are more than 20 years old. Likewise, another 10 million decks on commercial buildings are more than 20 years old.

Maintenance is important on these decks because the wood can decay and split, and metal parts can become rusted. As this story shows, when the homeowner fails to repair an aging deck, it can lead to serious injuries.

Nobody wants his or her vacation or family reunion cut short by a negligent property owner's lack of repair to a deck or other part of the home. If this does happen, West Virginia law may provide the victims with legal rights against the building owner.

Source: WITN.com, "Deck safety questioned after collapse; 5 remain hospitalized," Mackenzie Roberts and Elisse Ramey, July 6, 2015

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