Can I sue the apartment complex if a fire broke out and the fire extinguisher was empty?

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Can I sue the apartment complex if a fire broke out and the fire extinguisher was empty?

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although you could sue the landlord for negligence for the fire extinguisher being empty, the issue is whether or not you would recover anything.  If you are trying to recover damages (monetary compensation) for the loss of your personal property in your apartment, landlords are usually not liable for the tenant's property in your apartment.  The landlord's liabiliy is for the premises (areas outside your apartment). 

If you were injured as a result of the fire, you could file a lawsuit against the landlord to recover compensation for your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills, and documentation of any wage loss.  Prior to filing a lawsuit based on your personal injury claim, it may be possible to settle the case with the landlord's insurance carrier when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor.  If the case is not settled with the landlord's insurance carrier, proceed with your lawsuit against the landlord.


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