Abandoned equipment, ladders, trucks, generators, swimming pools, wells, oil tank batteries, machinery and tools must be locked up and secured to protect children for serious injuries and death. Property owners, contractors and operators owe a duty to not endanger children that might be lured to such dangerous conditions on the property they control. If a serious injury or death does occur, then the property owner or contractor may be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit based on their negligent conduct.
For decades electrical companies have preached to children and adults to stay away from high voltage lines. The utility and electric companies have sponsored public service commercials on Television and even take their display to class rooms to help warn of the dangers of electricity, however sometimes the workers of the cable TV, utility and phone companies also need to be educated about the dangers of leaving tools and ladders abandoned, unguarded and unsecured in residential areas where children play and explore. An abandoned ladder even for 15 minutes can create an attractive nuisance possibly endangering the lives and safety of neighborhood children. Not only do abandoned or unoccupied ladders and equipment pose injuries from electrical burn or shock hazards to power lines, but dangerous falls from tall unsecured ladders.
Dangerous or abandoned equipment may be an obvious danger to an adult, but to a child it may invite them to explore. A child due to their immaturity cannot always comprehend the dangers involved and therefore utility companies and contractors must be vigilant by not leaving ladders, chemicals, tools and equipment out where children or known to roam.
This duty to protect children also applies to abandoned pump jacks, oil and gas wells and oil tank batteries. Often oil and gas wells are drilled near communities using dangerous tools, chemicals and equipment. The oil and gas drilling operators, well owners and third party contractors must keep dangerous areas fenced or locked to keep prying young eyes and curiosities away.
The Willis Law Firm has been involved in several such cases. One involving young children playing around an abandoned tank battery with oil and petroleum condensate still remaining in the tanks. An explosion and fire occurred when one of the children struck a match while sitting on top of the tank off the catwalk and the vapors and fumes from the tank ignited and caused serious burns. A premises lawsuit was filed and later a confidential settlement was reached against the negligent oil well operator for not putting a simple lock on the open hatch door on top of the oil tank and not removing the abandoned tanks and equipment.
In another case the Willis Law Firm represented a family of a child seriously injured due injuries sustained in a mud tank trailer parked in a vacant lot next to a rural Texas neighborhood. Our client’s son climbed on top of the tank and looked in the open service hatch and was overcome by the chemical fumes, fainted and fell into the tank with residual drilling fluids and chemicals. He was found 6-8 hours later after a desperate “man-hunt”. He was taken to a local hospital and treated for chemical burns and inhalation injuries. Willis filed a lawsuit against the negligent companies and approximately a year later, a very successful out of court settlement was reached for the young boy and his family.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured due to abandoned or dangerous equipment negligently left unsecured by others, then call for a free no fee consultation and find out if you may have a right to collect monetary damages for your injuries and losses. Willis Law Firm is headquartered in Texas but has represented clients nationwide. Willis is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer in Texas and has been practicing for over 30 years. Call Today for a Free Consultation.