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Verdict Reached in California Suit Against Property Management Company

California law requires property management companies to ensure that their tenants are able to live in their properties safely. Recently, a tenant who suffered a traumatic brain injury due to a dangerous condition in his rental house in California received a $2.3 million settlement of his premises liability suit against his property management company. According to the suit, Realty World Selzer Property Management had the duty to ensure that ice does not form on walking surfaces as a result of water from its automatic sprinklers. This duty was breached and caused the plaintiff’s severe injuries.

Premises liability stems from the duty of a property owner, occupant, or manager to ensure that dangerous or defective conditions in their properties that may cause injuries are corrected immediately. Under California law, this duty extends to the use, maintenance, or management of these premises in order to avoid exposing people to an unreasonable risk of harm. It doesn’t matter if the risk is caused by a natural occurrence or an artificial condition created on the premises – failure to satisfy the duty of care described above will be considered negligence.

In order to avoid or mitigate liability, property managers should create a reasonable program to regularly inspect and conduct maintenance on their properties. Accurate and regular records of these inspections will be necessary to show that the property management company satisfied its duty of exercising due care to ensure dangerous conditions don’t persist. This reasonable inspection and maintenance program, if satisfied, will limit a property management company’s liability regardless of whether injuries occur.

Dangerous conditions on properties can cause severe and traumatic injuries. If you believe you have been injured because of a property owner’s or manager’s negligence, you should contact Dejban Law to determine your best legal course of action. Contact us now by email at info@dejbanlaw.com or by phone us at (818) 325-3820 for a free and confidential initial consultation.