At least 18 people are recovering from injuries they suffered when a deck collapsed at an oceanfront inn on Pawleys Island on Friday, June 6. One of the victims suffered a leg injury that required surgery, the inn’s owners said in a released statement.
Pawleys Island Police Chief Mike Fanning told WBTW News 13 that 13 injured people were taken to area hospitals and five received treatment on the scene after a deck collapsed at the Sea View Inn at about 6:15 Friday evening.
According to an article in The State, the deck was about 10-12 feet high. The injury victims were standing on the deck at the time of the collapse, and no one was underneath the structure, according to the article.
A group of 25-30 people had gathered on the deck to view a rainbow that had formed over the ocean after thunderstorms passed through the area, according to reports.
“I’m not sure if the nails were rusted or the wood was weak but it just gave way,” a witness told FITS News.
The owners of the inn said that the deck was structurally sound before the collapse, but became overburdened. “This deck was not in disrepair or in a compromised state. It was waterlogged from the recent deluge of rain and simply could not hold the weight,” according to a statement released by the inn’s owners.
According to the Sea View Inn’s website, the resort was built in 1937, but there was no information regarding the age of the collapsed deck.
A June 6 USA Today article on top locations for weddings in South Carolina described the facility as “a rustic but sweet 20-room inn on the beach.”
The condition of the deck and the number of people allowed onto the structure will likely be key factors in determining any potential liability for the accident. Owners of inns generally owe a high duty of care to protect guests from unsafe conditions under South Carolina premises liability law.
The lawyers at Joye Law Firm have experience handling lawsuits involving injuries suffered in structural collapses. For example, attorney Chris McCool secured a $2.775 million settlement for a man whose leg was amputated after a stairwell collapse.