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Roof/Ceiling collapsed onto child scaring him-What to do?

Wayne, NJ |

After hurricane sandy a large chunk of the roof was damaged above my childs bedroom.It had not been fixed but had infact been brought up to the landlord and was leaking all of the time. The other morning we woke up to screams and cries-his ceiling had collapsed right over him and his bed mid-sleep waking him up and horribly terrifying him and leaving him shaking and in tears.He is of middle school age. Is there anything i can do being he was so traumatized by the incident. The home is a rental.We have it all on video and photo as proof.

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Attorney answers 5


Suing landlords for injuries caused by the state of the premises is tough. Suing them for damages which were arguably caused by a natural disaster is tougher. Suing them for emotional distress injuries in the absence of substantial physical injuries is going to be even tougher, particularly if there's no evidence of medical bills for mental health problems and continuing symptoms. Indeed, many states won't permit recovery at all unless the emotional distress was severe enough to cause the plaintiff to seek professional health care.

If you want to pursue this, you'll need to consult a personal injury attorney.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


Difficult, if not near impossible case. Question; what, if anything, did your lawyer do, or fail to do, that caused, or contributed, to this incident. Seems that you are more upset than your chid. Understandable, but not realistically compensable. Sorry and happy holidays.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


Limiting my answer to a claim for emotional distress, these are difficult cases. They essentially require that the emotional distress be so significant as to become "physical injury", for which there must be documented medical treatment. Hopefully your child is not so distressed, but if there are any psychological/emotional injuries, then start with a visit to the pediatrician, then possibly for some counseling, if needed. I hope this is not necessary. At the end of the day, this type of claim is difficult to prevail on- I am sorry to hear this happened to your child.

These comments are provided as a public service and are not intended to constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created.


Consult with a local tenants rights atty and or injury lawyer. Get your child the counseling he needs. Generally a LL has to eep a property in habitable condition. Yours may have failed to. Did he have roof inspected after Sandy? Did you complain of leaks? Did he arrange for repairs? These are all important questions.


Was your child hurts other than psychologically? If so, you certainly have a claim for personal injury.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.

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