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Ask David Stewart Your Own Question
David Stewart
David Stewart, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  Highly experienced attorney Commercial Law, Litigation, Intellectual Property Law, and Family Law
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I live in an apartment building that became a disaster for

Customer Question

I live in an apartment building that became a disaster for me, as there was a fire in the apartment above me, due to the woman smoking in her room. She fell asleep, with her oxygen tank going, and started what became a bad fire. The woman lost her life in this fire, from third and forth degree burns, as well as smoke inhalation. Everything that had ever been in her apartment came down into my apartment right below hers. Everything that I owned became instantly contaminated! I lost everything that I owned! Clothing, computer microwave, all of my art supplies, shoes, everything. Nothing could be kept. My insurance company advised me to retain a lawyer, as I had made sure that I possessed 50 pictures of the inside of my old apartment. My apartment was considered a total loss by my insurance.
JA: What state is the property located in? And has anyone consulted a local attorney about this?
Customer: Washington
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: No smoking, no mold, that is black mold, no bed bugs. We are required to follow all of the rules. However this woman was supplied tobacco by one of the management employees, he would also smoke with her in her room. I had written five letters of complaint regarding this woman smoking, but nothing was ever done.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have had a very hard time trying to get around what happened to the negligence of management, and the behavior of this woman. I was standing outside and I could hear her pleading for someone to help her! There was black smoke pouring out her window, as well as flames. My emotional state has been severely disrupted due to all of this!
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  David Stewart replied 14 days ago.

Hello: from your statement this sounds like a really scary situation! Did your insurance cover the possessions lost in the fire. Also, is your question whether you have claim for negligence against the apartment complex and/or lady that caused the fire? If so, I believe you do have a valid claim that you should pursue with a local personal injury attorney. However, if your insurance paid the claim your insurance contract likely states it is their claim to assert to recover the amounts they paid on your claim. I am happy to respond to follow up, and I am also going to offer you a phone call if you think it would help to go through your issue in more detail. Thanks, David

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