While this blog has covered premises liability cases before, they have almost exclusively dealt with accidents in public places. It is true that public places are where a considerable number of the accidents and injuries that lead to premises liability lawsuits come from, but there are also a large number of in-the-home accidents that could potentially lead to premises liability actions, as well. Just like a store or public place, if you enter someone's home in Albany, you can often hold a homeowner liable if you are injured.
Unfortunately for one woman, she appears to have contracted the hantavirus after she went to an individual's home to clean. The owner's home was to be the focus of the reality show "Hoarding: Buried Alive" for TLC and it appears the woman had been hired as part of the channel's cleaning effort. Though she has tested positive for the hantavirus, she must have a second test to confirm the illness.
Many people in Albany may also have heard of the hantavirus recently when three people died after contracting the virus at Yosemite National Park. They had been staying in public housing and it is currently unknown if anyone else has caught the disease, as well.
Hantavirus is transmitted from rodents to humans, but humans cannot transmit the disease to each other. Many people contract the virus by breathing in air that has been contaminated by rodent urine and feces. The virus is not always fatal, but it can cause serious damage to the lungs.
It remains to be seen what will happen to this woman or if she will file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the home. If she does, she will be able to rely on many of the same arguments that she would have used if injured in a public place.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Hantavirus From 'Hoarding: Buried Alive' Home: Woman May Have Contracted Virus While Cleaning Houston House," Sept. 10, 2012
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