Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why Property Owners are sued of Premise Liability

Premise liability cases arise frequently due to property owners’ negligibility in keeping their premises safe. Most of the premise liability claims of victims are filed on the grounds of negligence or unintentional torts.
Negligence is practiced when a proprietor fails to exercise reasonable care on his premises. An owner’s inaction, especially when he/she is aware with the hazardous condition within his/her property, could be a strong foundation for a premise liability claim.
Landowners owe the highest duty to invitees or licensees. In any establishment or property, whether public or private, it is a common goal to maintain a reasonable safe environment for visitors or licensees. (A licensee is any person who enters the premises with permission from the landowner for his or her own purpose.)
The law requires all owners to comply with a certain degree of care to maintain their ownerships. It is in these owners’ interests to maintain safety and security within their premises and to warn any visitor of unknown dangerous conditions that could cause harm or injuries to them.
A statute or legislation may define the applicable standard of care in a specific situation, and a violation of the statute may constitute negligence per se. The following elements must be met in order for a statutory duty of care to be applied:
  • The statute or regulation must clearly define the required standard of conduct
  • The statute must be regulated with the intention of preventing the harm that the defendant have caused
  • The plaintiff must belong to the class of persons the statute was designed to protect. (This excludes trespassers.)
  • The violation must be the proximate cause of the injury or injuries.
Application and implementation of safety principles is of utmost importance to avoid being sued or charged of premise liability. The author of the article, “Premise Liability, An Author’s Perspective”, enumerates some common principles in the foundation of maintenance programs in establishments.
What owners need to know is that they could prevent accidents within their property if they conform to their duty and abide with safety procedures in maintaining their establishments harmless. Otherwise, they shall have to face legal consequences.