A recent NPR report reveals that some elderly Florida residents are suing their landlord, after their mobile home park flooded for hours and days at a time. Residents were trapped in their houses—even emergency vehicles couldn’t bypass the floods.
When the rains recede, the water leaves behind dangerous “slime.” This is a tripping and falling hazard for the vulnerable residents. “‘The slime never goes away,’ says Stanley Paxton, a 79-year-old resident who slipped on the street in 2018 and landed in the hospital for shoulder surgery. "I was just walking my dog…Next thing I know my left foot goes out from underneath me... and I hit the pavement with my shoulder.’”
The residents have banded together to sue Equity Lifestyle Partners (ELS) for ignoring their complaints and failing to fix the storm drains. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is not limited to ELS or even Florida state.
Large companies have been investing in mobile home parks across the country, making millions from low-income residents—yet allowing conditions like sewage backups and drinking water and power outages to persist. This is particularly dangerous for elderly residents.
Premises liability and landlord neglect
A landlord has a duty to maintain their premises for the health and safety of their residents. To prevail on a premises liability claim, the plaintiff must prove that their landlord knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, failed to address it and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual injury.
In the NPR story, the plaintiffs have a long history of complaining to ELS about flooded parks, slimy sidewalks and other hazards. Records of phone calls, emails and even texts—as well as photos and evidence of resultant injuries—are often used to prove landlord liability.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of landlord neglect, a personal injury attorney can help you recover compensation. Call the trusted premises liability lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Bradenton, FL to learn more.