What is an apartment complex’s liability regarding a personal injury due to its spraying of chemicals in a neighboring apartment?

UPDATED: Mar 8, 2012

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What is an apartment complex’s liability regarding a personal injury due to its spraying of chemicals in a neighboring apartment?

At our apartment complex, a nearby apt unit was being sprayed with chemicals to get it ready for the next tenants. My girlfriend was home sleeping when she was woken by the smell, started to feel nauseous, then proceeded to call the front office to complain. Minutes later she called 911 then passed. Fire rescue came and had to climb up to our second story balcony to find her unconscious and took her to the ER. Now the medical bills are coming in and we feel the apartment complex should pay for it but they claim no liability. I think we should sue but we have no idea how to go about it.

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You sue the apartment complex--the property manager and the landlord--you also sue the contractor(s) who did the work; that's how you go about seeking recovery of medical bills and other costs. Whenever anyone injures another through negligence, or unreasonable carelessness, they may be liable for that person's injuries. From what you write, there is a good chance negligence was involved, in one or more of the following: not warning all tenants to be out at that time; in not using a different chemical; in not using some means to contain the chemical; etc.

For several hundred dollars, you're probably best off if your girlfriend acts as her own lawyer, such as in small claims court. For several thousand, let a lawyer help you. Good luck.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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