Smoke detectors are an important installation in all buildings and homes. Smoke detectors keep occupants safe by sounding an alarm if smoke is in the area, allowing them time to evacuate in case there is a fire. Sometimes smoke detectors sound an alarm even if the smoke is coming from something harmless, like when we cook food in our kitchens. Although the installation of smoke detectors is usually taken care of by a builder or contractor, individuals are responsible for ensuring the detectors are always in working order. Even though the detectors notify us when the batteries are weak on each unit, if the consumer fails to change the battery, the smoke detector will not work and will become useless. Smoke detectors with working batteries are supposed to be checked once each year.
The family of a North Dakota man has filed a lawsuit, with the help of their wrongful death lawyer, for their son James Peyton, 31. The lawsuit names the building managers, Goldmark Property Management, saying they are responsible for Peyton’s death because they failed to maintain working smoke detectors in the apartment building he resided in. On January 29, 2012, a fire started in the kitchen of an apartment Peyton shared with his roommate. Peyton was asleep in the living room when the fire started, but the sound of a smoke detector did not wake him up. He died as a result of smoke inhalation. After his death, it was discovered that Peyton and his roommate had complained to management about non-working smoke detectors. Some of them had actually been removed my maintenance, but had not been replaced. The only smoke detector that worked in the apartment was in one of the bedrooms.
In a written response to the suit, Goldmark denied any wrongdoing in the accident. They stated that it “is not the company’s duty to maintain smoke detectors” in the apartment where Peyton died. They went on to say that Peyton’s death was “the result of his fault or the fault of others.” Goldmark did admit that they “had a duty to maintain a safe living environment,” but continued to deny that they are responsible for what the suit called “negligent and deliberate acts” that lead to the untimely death of Peyton. The family’s lawsuit is seeking at least $50,000 for medical expenses and expenses related to his memorial and cremation, and at least $50,000 for additional damages such as emotional distress, suffering and loss of companionship.
According to national data regarding smoke alarms in homes, more than 60 percent of deaths caused by a fire in the home were the result of failing to maintain working smoke alarms. Furthermore, 20 percent of homes are equipped with smoke alarms that don’t work at all. Sometimes people may fail to replace batteries, or just take the batteries out all together. There are new technologies focused on this issue, giving consumers the ability to have smoke alarms that work on electricity and batteries, instead of working on batteries alone.
When dealing with the untimely death of a loved one, speaking with an experienced wrongful death lawyer will hopefully help to ease your mind a bit. Following your free consultation, should the wrongful death attorney find that your case has merit, work will begin immediately on your case so that you may receive the compensation and justice that is deserved for your injury or loss. The wrongful death lawyers will also fully investigate the incident, visit the scene of the incident and interview witnesses for your case.
If you or someone you know would like to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to speak with a good wrongful death lawyer in your area. Call one of the experienced Myrtle Beach injury lawyers at The Mace Firm for South Carolina legal services. One of The Mace Firm’s Charleston injury lawyers is ready to speak with you about your case.