Visitor Question

Autistic boy fell by the pool and was yelled at by the property manager…

Submitted By: Kathaleen (Longview, Washington)

My son and I were at the pool at our new apartment, he slipped and fell cutting his foot and hit his head on the concrete. The manager yelled at him because he was crying loudly and accused him of running. I was sitting nearby and saw everything, he was not running.

My son is autistic and has a cyst on his brain and I am concerned about future problems, even though the emergency room said he would be fine. To make things worse, I received a 10 day notice to vacate. We just moved in and have only been there for 2 weeks! Because of this incident my son has reverted back to not wanting to be in public places and was traumatized by the manager yelling at him for crying and acting like a two year old.

Do I have a reasonable cause to seek damages? How are my options for handling this situation and the aggressive manager? Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kathaleen,

From the facts you present the landlord wasn’t negligent. Negligence is the basis of most injury claims. It’s generally understood running in a pool area is inherently dangerous. It appears your son may have contributed to his own injury. Absent information proving the landlord caused your son’s fall you really don’t have a claim.

Additionally, to have a legitimate personal injury claim requires proof of injury. Although unfortunate, your son’s cyst on his brain doesn’t appear to have any connection with the landlord.

The landlord’s notice to you to vacate seems a bit harsh. The only way you’ll know if the landlord is legally permitted to take such action is to look closely at your lease. Look specifically at reasons for termination of the lease. If there isn’t a provision for termination you technically don’t have to leave.

To evict you the landlord will probably have to secure a court order. If that’s the case you should have a chance to present your side of the story to the judge. If you don’t have a lease, then the law presumes you are on a month to month lease.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: July 9, 2013

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