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Property Case Study: Fire Escape #2


At a fraternity chapter house that was hosting a party, Jane Doe, chapter member, went out a second-floor door to a fire escape platform and fell through the hole, which provided a ladder access to the ground.

There had been a previous fall from this fire escape at the chapter house in question, and the chapter leadership posted a hand-made warning sign at the exit to the fire escape as a warning.


Jane Doe suffered serious injuries and sued the Fraternity and House Corporation. The national Fraternity was dismissed from the lawsuit; however, the House Corporation was found 56 percent at fault with nearly $120,000 in damages.

Issues to address:

  • The fire escape had already caused problems at this chapter, and the House Corporation did not address those concerns properly. Once a dangerous condition at the property is revealed, it must be appropriately addressed.
  • How should the concerns about the fire escape have been addressed after the first incident?
  • What risk management policies does your Chapter/House Corporation have in place regarding fire escapes?