Timothy and Kimberly Malikowski were entertaining guests on the deck of their Hampden home in June when it pulled away from the house and suddenly collapsed, seriously injuring the homeowners.
Now, they are suing the Brewer man hired to inspect the house in 2014 when the Malikowskis purchased it. They claim that inspector Timothy Madden was negligent when he found the condition of the deck to be “satisfactory.”
The couple alleges that Madden, as a building inspector, should have seen that the deck’s attachment system was inadequate and noted it in his report.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Penobscot County Superior Court by the couple’s attorney, Brett Baber of Bangor.
Madden, 56, did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
The Malikowskis are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, according to the complaint.
In the deck collapse, Kimberly Malikowski, 39, sustained a concussion and fractures in her upper back near her brain stem and in her lower back that initially caused some paralysis in her legs, Baber said. She required surgery and was in intensive care for about two weeks, followed by in-hospital rehabilitation for nearly two months, he said.
“She slowly regained her ability to walk and to learn how to go up and down stairs. Kimberly was able to resume working from home by early December,” Baber said.
Timothy Malikowski, 45, broke both of the bones in his lower leg and was unable to work for a few months, the complaint said. He has recovered but walks with a slight limp, according to Baber.
“Our consulting engineer determined that the deck failed when it pulled away from the house due to a very poor method of attachment to the house,” the lawyer said. “He also found the inadequacy was readily apparent and should have been flagged by Mr. Madden when Mr. Madden inspected the deck.”