Saint Paul, MN asked in Personal Injury for Minnesota

Q: Is a college liable for putting my daughter, alone, in an off campus house with a gas leak and no sense of smell?

She was put in a house alone, with no supervision when tested positive for covid. She could not smell anything, but heard a sound emitting for the stove. She called security and they came and supposedly turned off the gas and told her she was safe now. I got there an hour later and was amazed at how strong the gas smell still was even with the windows open. I took her home and the college told me the next day, that there was a crack in the gas line.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: A Minnesota attorney could advise best, but your post remains open for two weeks. I'm sorry for your daughter's and your family's ordeal. They could be liable - it depends on the level of responsibility they assume for off-campus housing (or the level of responsibility they disclaim in student housing agreements). In either event, even with a showing of liability, you would need to demonstrate damages. There do not appear to be damages here (other than transient health effects), and I'm very happy for you and your daughter for that. In general, it would be difficult to assert a case on damages that "might have been." You could reach out to Minnesota attorneys to ask if they see it differently or if significant health effects materialized. What's more important is that you made the possibly life-saving decision to bring your daughter home, which was a good call on your part. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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