While decks at popular restaurants and bars remain an attraction for diners, recent disasters have given many a moment for pause when they consider which tables to choose at their favorite eateries. Most recently, more than 30 people were injured with two dozen transported to a hospital when a deck collapsed at a Miami sports bar and grill.
Reports indicate that the deck simply buckled under the weight of the 100 or so revelers who had gathered to watch the Miami Heat duel with the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA championship series. Patrons reportedly heard the deck crack and suddenly found themselves plunged into the waters of Biscayne Bay. A police spokesman said there were apparently no previous indications that the deck was at risk for collapse.
Unfortunately, the injured Heat fans are not alone, as similar deck collapses have been reported across the nation. According to building inspectors, whose job duties include checking private and commercial decks to ensure that they meet required safety standards, there are several steps that can be taken to avoid collapse:
- Don’t use nails to secure decks.
- Make sure decks are bolted to primary structures such as homes, condominiums or restaurants.
- Look for decaying bolts, rotten wood and wobbly posts.
- Don’t postpone replacing worn deck components — repair them as soon they appear unsafe.
Deck owners should also earmark $500 to $1,000 for deck repairs and maintenance every few years, keeping in mind that any costs associated with restoration will pale in comparison with the pain and expenses of injuries sustained due to deck collapse.
If you have been hurt due to unsafe conditions on a deck or backyard area, it is critical to discuss the facts of your case with a competent attorney with expertise in personal injury law and premises liability issues.