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Death of 11-Year Old Massachusetts Boy at a Methuen School in Gate Collapse Ruled Accidental

Authorities and investigators for Massachusetts and Essex County have determined that the death of 11-year-old Timothy DiLeo at Tenney Grammar School in Methuen was an accident. No criminal charges will therefore be filed in the case. DiLeo died after a heavy metal gate fell on him. His 8-year-old brother, Andrew, was also injured by the gate collapse. Brandon LaPorte, 13, suffered minor injuries to his leg, and Steven DiLeo, 13, who was also involved in the accident, was not hurt.

If there is evidence to prove that someone acted negligently to create the condition that turned the school into an unsafe premise, DiLeo’s family good have grounds to file wrongful death claim and a personal injury claim against Tenney Grammar school and/or any other negligent parties.

Investigators say the gate was leaning against a wall and not securely attached on its hinge. It had been placed in the area where large garbage containers are stored. The gate fell when two of the boys tried to climb it.

Under premises liability law, the owner of a property must take reasonable action to ensure that the property is in a reasonably safe condition so that no one is injured or killed. A property owner is also legally obligated to warn people of any conditions on a premise that could render a property unsafe-even if only temporarily.

Falling merchandise or objects, dog attacks, defective or dangerous conditions on a premise, inadequate security, and any conditions leading to slip and fall accidents are just some of the reasons that a personal injury claim or lawsuit can be brought against the liable party. The reason that an injured person was on the property to begin with may/may not affect whether or not the injured victim has grounds to file a premises liability claim.

Children and Premise Liability Cases

If a property owner knows that a child could likely enter a premise-whether or not he or she entered the property with permission-the landlord or landowner is still obligated to have taken steps to ensure that the place is safe enough so that children are not injured or killed.

No charges to be filed in Methuen fence collapse fatality, Boston.com, September 4, 2007
Death of Methuen boy ruled an accident, Examiner.com, September 4, 2007

Related Web Resources:

Methuen Public Schools

Premise Liability News, Justia
In Massachusetts, the personal injury law firm of Altman & Altman LLP has more than 40 years of experience successfully handling every kind of premise liability case for injured parties. We also handle injury cases involving minors and wrongful death claims and lawsuits where a family loved one has been killed on a third party’s premise because the of negligence.

To schedule your free consultation with one of our premises liability or wrongful death lawyers, contact Altman & Altman LLP today.