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$1,750,000 Verdict in Hammond, Indiana When Child Dies in Fire, Landlord Failed to Provide Adequate Smoke Detectors

A young four-year old child died in a morning house fire where the landlord failed to provide adequate working smoke detectors in the rented house. The family had been living in the rented house for a few weeks.

The landlord’s defense team alleged the house fire was caused by negligent cooking, but there was no evidence to support the allegation. The defense team also alleged that adequate smoke detectors had been supplied.

It was difficult to dis-prove this allegation because the Indiana Insurance Company adjusters and investigators had traveled to the house a few days after the fire and absconded with all the appliances and smoke detectors.

But, what could be done with that?

We decided to investigate forensically further. On the battery (and on each battery) was a serious of numbers with a UL logo.

The battery was sent to Underwriters’ Laboratories where it was determined to be over 10 years old. The landlord had supplied smoke detectors that didn’t work.

The jury found for the mother of the deceased child and awarded damages of $1.75M, making it the record largest individual verdict in the State of Indiana versus a single landlord at that time.

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These case examples and results are for information purposes only. The content of the newspaper articles is the responsibility of those publications alone. Past results cannot guarantee future performance on your case. The results in any of the particular cases listed above does not constitute a promise, representation or guarantee that your case will be resolved or resolved favorably or similarly. Each case is different. Each case has a different set of facts. The laws in each jurisdiction are different, including local counties in Indiana. Consequently, results will be unique in every lawsuit or claim. Shaw Law expressly denies and does not guarantee the outcome of any case or claim.

Jeffrey Shaw, Esq.

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