Ohio residents may have heard that on Sept. 4, a Chicago woman was killed after a piece of stone fell from a historic church and struck her. According to the report, the 34-year-old woman was walking in a South Loop neighborhood with her boyfriend at about noon when a stone from the Second Presbyterian Church came loose.
A witness reported seeing the stone fall from a height of nearly 30 feet and strike the woman on the head. The woman was immediately taken to a Chicago hospital where she was pronounced dead. It was reported that the building, which received the designation of a National Historic Landmark in 2013, had failed multiple inspections within the last few years. Records showed that the facade of the building had sustained fractures and a loss of mortar in certain areas. However, the building reportedly passed its last inspection in March of 2013.
Those who own buildings or other property are required by law to ensure that they are reasonably safe for others. This might mean that the building may need to be regularly inspected and that the owners provide appropriate repairs and other maintenance as needed. If the property is not kept in good condition and reasonably free of hazards, visitors who become injured while on the property may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit.
In some cases, the injured person may need to provide evidence that the owner of the property failed to keep the property in reasonable condition and that the failure led directly to the injury. By filing this type of suit, the injured person might recover the costs of certain damages, which may include medical bills accrued during the treatment of the injury and loss of earnings during recovery time.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Woman Killed By Stone That Fell From Gargoyle On Historic Church", Kim Bellware, September 04, 2014