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OAKLAND: David Rivera-Vargas Died In Accident After Falling From Fire Escape At Apartment On Martin Luther King Jr. Way


Apr 23, 2019

David Rivera-Vargas Oakland: 18-Month Old Boy Identified As David Rivera-Vargas Has Tragically Died After Falling From  Fire Escape At Apartment Complex Located On Martin Luther King Jr. Way

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (April 23, 2019) – An 18-month-boy old boy identified as David Rivera-Vargas has tragically died after falling from a fire escape at an apartment building located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

Oakland police are saying the accident took place around 5:00 p.m. Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene of the accident in order to help the victim. 

Authorities are saying that David Rivera-Vargas was able to leave the apartment before making it to the fire escape. 

David Rivera-Vargas was taken to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland after falling from the fire escape. The family of the victim lives on the third floor of the apartment complex. 

Fall Accident Statistics

Every year thousands of children are killed or seriously injured in fall accidents. According to Stanford Children’s Health, “Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury for children. Children ages 19 and under account for about 8,000 fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms every day.” There are a number of risk factors associated with childhood falling accidents:

  • Boys are more likely to die from falls than girls
  • Consumer products such as prams, baby walkers and changing tables increase the likelihood of falls
  • Other factors include animal riding, playgrounds and inadequate supervision

A fall from any height can leave a child with serious injuries. These can include bone fractures, head injuries and spinal cord trauma. Though many falls are the results of accidents, a number of falls occur due to dangerous conditions on a premises. This is especially true with respect to falls down fire escapes.

Liability In Fire Escape Accidents

Every apartment complex has a legal responsibility to take steps to prevent accidents. According to the California Civil Code § 1714 subsection (a), “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This is especially important for buildings that have fire escapes. 

Falls are much more likely to occur with vertical fire escapes. In short, vertical fire escapes are those which use a series of ladders that people can climb down. These fire escapes have largely been discontinued because of how dangerous they are. Children, for example, are much more likely to fall straight through. Horizontal fire escapes let users climb down through a series of stairs and are generally much safer. There are a number of other problems that can occur with fire escapes:

  • Loose railings
  • Missing slats
  • Missing bolts
  • Holes in the flooring
  • Rusty beams

When an apartment owner fails to keep their fire escape in a reasonably safe condition they may face civil liability for an accident. The family of a victim that died is able to seek justice through California’s Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. A premises liability attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your options are. An attorney can inspect a fire escape involved in an accident free of cost and let you know if there was negligence on the part of the property owner. 

Investigating A Fire Escape Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of David Rivera-Vargas. It is our sincere hope that the owners of this apartment complex take measures to prevent similar accidents in the future. No family should ever have to suffer through something like this. 

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a fire escape accident there are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are respected. Whether you just have questions or need more information about a particular incident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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