What damages may we get from our landlord because of a house fire caused by a faulty gas grill installation?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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What damages may we get from our landlord because of a house fire caused by a faulty gas grill installation?

I have renters insurance which pays for expenses above our rent and food over our monthly norm. I have a $500 deductible. To date we have been displaced for almost 2 months living in a hotel. We think our dog had a minor stroke due to the smoke/distress of the fire. Can I sue the landlord for damages?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF the landlord was at fault--i.e. the installation was improper, careless, illegal, etc.--then you may be able to recover your out-of-pocket losses; this would be any costs, above the norm you'd be paying anyway, which are not reimbursed by insurance. If your insurance is picking up everything but the deductible, the deductible is all you could recover. You may be able  to recover for the dog's medical cost IF you can show that it was  brought on by the fire--but doing so could require a vetrinary expert witness, which would likely cost more than you cann recover. You cannot recover for  your own inconvenience or frustration at being displaced--those are not compensible damages. This may be a case where good insurance effectively absolves you of the need to sue, since you're getting what you could recover anyway.

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