For the second time since February 2016, a University of Florida student has fallen to his death from an apartment complex within close proximity to the university grounds.
Ian Burns, a senior studying engineering at the public university, fell from a balcony at the University House Apartments complex this past weekend. No explanation has been provided in public accounts regarding the circumstances of his death.
It is such a bizarre and horrific event, that it should be a rare occurrence – so why has it happened twice at the same university in less than two years?
What is to blame for Ian Burns’ death?
While an investigation into Ian’s death remains ongoing, details regarding what happened to Ian will remain unknown. But there are a number of potential scenarios in which the terrible fall could be the result of negligence, and perhaps therefore constituting a personal injury case.
The personal injury perspective of the wrongful death case
As wrongful death lawyers, one of the firs things our investigators and lawyers would look into is whether the complex owners were negligent in their construction, or maintenance or care of the building.
For example, if the railing on the third story was shorter than building code standards allow, or if there was a defect in the railing, that may have contributed to the fall.
Or perhaps a failure in the construction of the balcony or the railing could have made for an unforeseen hazard that led to the fall.
Unfortunately, the family will have to wait to find out. But hiring a personal injury lawyer to conduct their own evaluation of the facts could lead to a potential wrongful death lawsuit against the building’s owners, or the property manager’s company.
This is not the first time a UF student has fallen to his death from an apartment complex balcony
In 2016, 20-year old Chance Wolf fell to this death from a 6-story apartment complex balcony, not far from the complex in which Ian Burns lost his life.
Security footage from that building showed Chance falling over a railing that was described as only being about “waist-high”.
Our skilled personal injury lawyers often look for patters in cases that are similar, such as these two incidents. A pattern of negligence in the construction or care of the building would be awfully disturbing, especially if it’s the same Defendant, or if there are two Defendants somehow linked to each other.
It’s important for the families of those lost in terrible tragedies like these to explore all legal options they may have available.