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PREMISE LIABILITY

Premise liability law makes the owner of land or property responsible for certain injuries sustained by individuals who are present on the premises. If you are injured due an unsafe condition on the property of a business or privately owned by a group of people or an individual, you may have a lawsuit. You should contact Holingsworth and Mumen for an immediate free case evaluation.


For example, places such as zoos that are open to the public are responsible for safety and maintenance. There has been an influx of zoo animal attacks on the visiting zoo spectators and zoo staff: A gorilla bit a zoo keeper in Chicago IL, a tiger attack killed a man in San Fransisco, CA, a wild dog attacked boy in Pittsburg, PA  resulting in a killing. A Polar Bear attcked  a person in Anchorage, AK, and  a Killer Whale attacked and killed a trainer at Sea World in Orando, FL.

Terminology


  • invitee – A person who is formally  invited, or expressly or through implied consent, onto the property of another for business. This person is entitled to a high degree of protection from the property’s possessor. If their  are areas that require repair, there must be a warning to alert the invitee. Entitled to protection from dangerous conditions or to be warned of them if they exist and cannot reasonably be discovered by the invititee. These areas of warning would be for example, 'slippery floor' warning cone.

  • Licensee – A licensee is someone who is invited onto the property of another for non-business purposes, for example a social visit. As is the case with the invitee, the licensee is entitled to protection from dangerous conditions or to be warned of them if they exist and cannot reasonably be discovered by the licensee.
  • Trespasser – A trespasser is someone who enters the property of another without permission, and as a result is not owed a duty of protection from dangerous conditions. However, there are exceptions, and they include the fact that the trespasser must not be foreseeable by the property’s possessor and that the property should not contain an attractive nuisance that’s likely to attract trespassers.

If care is not exercised appropriately, the plaintiff's recovery may be limited or reduced by his or her own negligence. Most states adhere to a 'comparative fault' rule in personal injury cases.  This translates that the injured person's legal damages will be reduced by a percentage that is equivalent to his or her fault for the incident. So, if it is decided that an injured person was 30% liable for an accident, and the total damages were $10,000, he or she will receive only $7,000.

A lessor is not liable to a lessee, or anyone else, for physical injury caused by a condition on the property. In most cases this rule is based partially on the lessor's presumed lack of control over the property once it is leased. The rule has numerous important exceptions. For example, a lessor is responsible for injuries that occur as a result of a latent defect or condition that existed at the time the lessee took possession of the property (if the lessor knew or had reason to know of the defect). A latent defect is a concealed, unreasonably dangerous condition, either artificial or natural. If the lessor agrees to act and execute the repair for the benefit of the lessee, it must be done in a non-negligent manner.



See our premise accident expertise under Premise Accidents menu on the left