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Tampa girl, 7, killed when apartment gate collapses on her

The Tampa, Florida, apartment building where a 7-year-old girl was killed earlier this month when a gate crashed down on her has reportedly been the site of numerous maintenance complaints.

Atlanta residents may have read the news reports which state renters at the apartment complex have frequently voiced complaints about the poor upkeep of the building. Among unsafe conditions reported before this tragic accident are a burned-out unit and rickety fences. The complaints were given to the property manager as well as Tampa authorities.

The girl was walking to the school bus one morning when a heavy entrance gate crashed down on top of her. Several adults struggled to lift the gate off of the young girl, but she did not survive. Many of the girl's friends witnessed the tragic accident take place.

It appears that managers of the apartment have not responded to media requests for comment.

The owners and managers of apartment buildings and condominium complexes are responsible for maintaining the safety of their properties under the law. While premises liability laws differ from state to state, here in Georgia, when residents or visitors are injured or even killed because of unsafe property conditions, the property owners or managers can be sued for negligence.

Of course, a lawsuit cannot undo the tragedy that has occurred. It can provide financial compensation for medical and funeral expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and psychological damage or loss of life. It is also a means to hold negligent property owners and managers accountable, in hopes that they will not make the same irresponsible and tragic mistakes again.

Source: WTSP.com, "Tampa girl dies after apartment gate falls on her," Kathryn Bursch, April 11, 2012

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