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

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2012

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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


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

Answered 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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