New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Landlord Not Liable for Infant Burned by Radiator

August 8, 2019

New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that a landlord can’t be held responsible for burns an infant suffered rolling from a bed onto a scalding radiator.

The 5-2 decision issued July 31 means the landlord can’t be sued for not placing a protective cover over the steam-powered radiator in a Jersey City apartment where the 9-month-old boy was burned in 2010.

State housing rules don’t require radiators to be covered.

The majority opinion stated it wouldn’t be fair to impose the requirement on landlords without prior notice. But Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in his dissenting opinion that a jury should have been allowed to decide whether landlords are responsible for protecting tenants from “foreseeable dangers.”

The infant suffered burns on his head, face and arm after rolling off a bed and into the uncovered steam radiator.

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