In December 2013, a clubhouse deck at a New Albany, Indiana subdivision called Wolf Creek collapsed during a holiday gathering. The collapse, which was captured by a security camera mounted on the clubhouse, injured 22 family members who had gathered at the edge of the deck for photos. That video was used as evidence in a lawsuit filed by the victims against both the builder of the deck and the Wolf Lake Homeowners Association, Inc., which owned and maintained the deck.
One of the members of the family, Jeremy Wilt, was at work when the accident occurred, but arrived later on the scene as part of the team of emergency responders. An interesting YouTube video that he later produced provides an up-close look at some of the details that contributed to the accident. While he claims no particular expertise - explaining that he's a nurse, not a deck builder - it's clear that the deck's rim joist wasn't properly connected to the support posts.
According to a recent news story, the jury that heard the case agreed that the deck was not built in a workmanlike manner, and that these problems could have been fixed if the deck had been properly inspected and maintained. Jurors awarded victims of the accident $4 million in damages, assigning 60 percent of the fault to the deck's builder, Schuler Homes Inc., and 40 percent to the homeowners association. Since the deck was built in 2001, and Indiana state law limits the time a plaintiff can file a product liability suit against a manufacturer to 10 years, the total verdict amount was about $1.6 million.