April 28


Premises Liability

By Todd Schuler

April 28, 2021

Business and property owners owe certain duties to the public to maintain safe conditions for people that they reasonably expect would be on their premises. People injured on a property that they don’t own may have a claim for negligence.

Unsafe premises claims can come from either a design flaw in the premises (an unmarked curb) or from a more temporary condition (spilled fluid in a supermarket). In either situation, the property owner is only responsible for conditions that they either created or knew about in time to repair. If a customer spills juice in a supermarket just seconds before another customer slips on that juice and suffers an injury, the supermarket cannot be held responsible because it and its employees had no notice of the unsafe condition and no opportunity to fix it.

This can make premises liability cases difficult to prove. Proof may come from a store’s security cameras, a witness, or the store’s cleaning or incident records. Proof may never come at all in which case a claim might need to be abandoned. It is important to discuss injuries related to potential premises liability with an experienced attorney who can evaluate issues of proof.