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Landlord in 'hot water' after Michigan local scalded by shower

While most recent high school graduates here in Michigan are likely more worried about where they are going to go to college, others are more worried about where they are going to stay, especially if that school is out of state. It’s a lot of pressure to be living on your own for the first time and as some of our readers will attest, there is a lot of concern about whether they’re putting themselves in a bad situation or not.

This is especially true when stories pop up in the news about landlords and apartment management companies that don’t keep up on maintenance. This can be as benign as a missing drain plug but can also be something more serious such as something that can present a safety hazard to tenants. Such was the case for one Michigan local who is now suing his landlord for the injuries he suffered in his college apartment.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in Pennsylvania where the accident took place, the student claims that he suffered second- and third-degree burns because his apartment was not equipped with the proper scald-protection devices in the plumbing. The landlord is accused of setting the water temperature to 135 degrees--15 degrees hotter than what state limits allow. His lawsuit contends that not only did the landlord fail to disclose the danger to his tenants but also failed to correct the issue before anyone was injured.

The outcome of the case will likely depend on whether evidence can be produced to support the student’s claims. The landlord may dispute the claims that he purposefully set the water temperature above state standards or that he knew about the safety hazard at all. On the other hand, the student could produce evidence that proves there was a safety hazard in the apartment, though it may be difficult to prove that the landlord knew about the problem before it injured the student.

Source: The Centre Daily Times, "Penn State student sues apartment owner over scalding shower," Aug. 5, 2013

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