This case takes place in Kansas and involves a child who was burned when he pulled a Kenmore stove top oven – which wasn’t harnessed or fastened to the wall of a rental apartment – while his parents were cooking a meal. The child was unsupervised at the time of the incident, and when he attempted to pull the stove while a meal was being prepared, the stove was not secured to the wall. The incident took place in a rental apartment in Arizona. When the rental corporation alleged that there was no reasonable expectation for the oven to be secured to the wall, the family decided that they would pursue charges of negligent rental maintenance regardless. An expert with vast familiarity of residential rental units and the appropriate standards pertaining to the installation of stove top ovens was required for the case.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1.) Please describe your expertise pertaining to property management, specifically as it relates to heavy appliances in rental units.
- 2.) Are there any standards requiring landlords to fasten / secure these appliances, to prevent a tipping incident like what has been described above?
- 3.) Have you ever been the target of a similar law suit?
- 4.) Have you ever served as an expert witness on a related claim?
Expert Witness Response E-009227
I have been a property manager for the better part of my 45 year career and have seen instances of burns from a pulled stove hundreds of times. There is no law in the state of Arizona that requires this stove to be fastened in any way; although, the manufacturer probably foresaw the potential for it to happen if the anti-tipping mechanism was included with the stove. Regardless, this is a strong case and I have worked on a number of similar cases as it relates to appliance standards for residential apartments.