Premises liability arise when landowners, business, or those occupying a location fail to protect people who legally enter their property. Legally speaking, a possessor of land is under an affirmative duty to use reasonable care to make the premises safe for use by invitees. The duty generally includes an obligation to discover and correct or warn of hazards that the possessor of the premises should reasonably foresee might endanger an invitee. Liability can arise for private homeowners and other property owners, like hotels, restaurants, stores, and cruise ships
Premises liability cases come in various forms, including slip and falls, usually caused by a slippery substance on the floor or an unreasonably slippery floor surface; trip and falls, usually caused by uneven pavement, unexpected objects in a walkway, or defective or improperly designed steps; defective premises, such as defective doors or doorways, escalators, or other equipment; and improperly maintained or operated facilities, like in amusement parks. Many times, liability arises from failure to comply with accepted industry standards or federal requirements like the ADA.
The most common defense to these cases is the condition was “open and obvious.” This is one factor in determining whether the possessor of the land acted with reasonable care; it is not a condition that releases the possessor of land from the duty it owes. If a business owner should anticipate harm from a condition despite its open and obvious nature, the owner may be liable for injury if it does not take reasonable steps to protect invitees.
Because of various legal nuances and insurance considerations, you should hire experienced premises liability lawyers like Gage Mathers.