Renter blames landlords for leaky roof injuries

By Andrea Dearden | Jun 2, 2011

A St. Clair County woman claims her landlords are responsible for injuries she received when she allegedly slipped on water from a leaky roof.

Susan Voellinger filed a lawsuit against Renee and Donald Startup May 10 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. Voellinger accuses the property owners of negligence.

According to the petition, Voellinger was renting a home from the Startups on Bunkum Road in Fairview Heights in the summer of 2009. She says she alerted the property owners to a leak around a flue pipe that led from a gas water heater, up through the ceiling and out the roof.

Voellinger says the Startups attempted to correct the leaking roof and ceiling but failed to improve the situation. The tenant says the area around the pipe continued to leak water onto the floor each time it rained.

On July 4, 2009, Voellinger says she was walking with a cane toward the restroom when she slipped in water and fell. She says rain water had come from the poorly-repaired ceiling and collected on the floor.

Voellinger says the fall caused serious injuries to her pelvis, arm, elbow, leg and hip. She contends the Startups are liable for her injuries because they allegedly failed to repair the leak. Voellinger is asking to be awarded damages between $50,000 and $75,000 along with court costs.

Attorney Richard G. Reed of Belleville is representing Voellinger.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-233

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