Nursing Home Sued for Balcony Death

A nursing home resident died when she fell through a balcony railing at the nursing home.   Suit was filed by her family.  According to the lawsuit, the railing was not properly designed and allowed the woman to fall to her death. 

The International Residential Code sets standards that regulate aspects of construction.  (Local building authorities often add additional regulations and restrictions for their specific communities.)  There are several IRC regulations that apply to balconies to keep people (especially children) from falling through:

·      Railings must be between 34 inches and 38 inches high.

·      The space between balusters (the vertical guards that support a handrail) must be no greater than four inches.

·      Some balusters connect to the decking, while others connect to a bottom rail.  If balusters connect to a bottom rail, the bottom rail must sit no more than four inches above the deck surface.

The International Residential Code and local building authorities set minimum standards by which builders must conform.  Violation of these standards can be strong evidence of negligence but since the codes set minimum standards there can still be negligence even if codes are met.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *