Many Florida businesses do their best to keep their premises free of hazards that could endanger the lives of their customers. However, there are some building owners who fail to properly maintain their premises. Even despite building code violations and repeated warnings to repair the dangerous conditions, these building owners continue to ignore the authorities — until the building starts to collapse and puts people in danger. A church owner was recently arrested after the roof of the church collapsed and affected nearby homes. Nine people — including five children — were displaced from their residences.
The church, located in Pennsylvania, collapsed on the evening of Feb. 21. In addition, two walls were also in danger of falling. The area around the church, including two homes, were barricaded to protect families from injury. The families had to be evacuated and have not yet been allowed back into their homes.
Weather conditions likely caused the church’s structure to weaken. The church has been deemed a hazard for many years, but the 48-year-old church owner did nothing to repair the situation. He will now face numerous charges, including building code violations.
This story shows that negligent maintenance is a serious situation. Many business owners think that they can postpone a maintenance or repair issue — until it becomes out of control. It is very likely that the church will now have to be demolished. The conditions of the nine people are unknown, but hopefully nobody suffered serious personal injury. If they did, the owner of the church could be held liable for their damages, injuries and losses.
Source: Penn Live, “Police arrest owner of Harrisburg church after roof collapse, cite him for code violations” Jeremy Arias, Feb. 22, 2014