When a ceiling is correctly built and maintained, it should remain secure and supported. Ceilings that have been taken care of properly don’t just fall without warning. More often than not, if a ceiling collapses, it’s because somebody repeatedly ignored past signals that its integrity was compromised. A few reasons a ceiling could collapse are:
- Damage to ceiling supports
- Failure to repair leaks or crack
- Structural issues created by poor contractor workmanship
- Heavy items stored on the drywall in the attic
- Construction that is not up to building codes
- Inadequate shoring
- Attic pressurization
A ceiling collapse could fall under the responsibility of anyone from the building’s owner to the management company to the construction company. Normally, the collapse of a ceiling falls under premises liability. For a premises liability claim to be successful, proof that the party responsible for the maintenance of the building was neglectful will need to be provided. If the person, or persons, in charge of maintaining the building knew that the ceiling needed to be repaired but failed to do so, it would likely be determined that they are liable.
However, if a contractor or construction company performed poor workmanship or did not follow building codes when they built or repaired the ceiling, they could also be found liable for a collapse. In some cases, the collapse could be blamed on a faulty product used during construction. Ceiling joists, sheetrock, and even drywall screws used to hang sheetrock could be to blame if they cause a ceiling to collapse, leaving the product manufacturer liable.