Many people in Connecticut and throughout the northeast look forward to the December holidays. Part and parcel of that time of year in this part of the country is snow and cold temperatures. This is often accompanied by ice and other conditions that can make even going out to the grocery store dangerous, especially for people at risk for falls, such as the elderly or disabled. At these times, it is important to remember that establishments expecting one's business also have responsibilities.
This blog has previously discussed some of the aspects of negligence claims against landowners in Connecticut. We have touched on the various statuses visitors or tenants can have, such as invitee, licensee and trespasser, and what duty a landlord or other property owner may have with regard to those individuals' safety. However, safety does not only involve the basic slip and fall and the physical condition of the property itself. The actions of other people who are on the property may also affect the safety of people who are present for a lawful reason.
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and nobody wants to sit out the season because of an injury. Unfortunately, it's not just Black Friday shopping that can result in an unhappy surprise. People are injured at malls and retail shops all year 'round, but the busier the day, the more likely retailers are to skip important safety obligations.
There are very few times when you can see injuries coming. While the world is a dangerous place, many responsible people maintain safe areas around their business or home so that others are not harmed. However, there are times when this responsibility is shirked. When those in charge fail to keep a premises safe, it can lead to unfortunate injuries to innocent bystanders. Such dangerous incidents often fall under the category of premises liability.
This blog has discussed various aspects of premises liability law in Connecticut and whether a property owner is liable for injuries someone suffers while on that property. We have touched on the fact that this partially depends upon the status of the injured party; that is, whether he or she is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. This discussion has generally focused on properties where visitors are transient, such as places of business and the like. However, many people in the state actually reside in properties that they do not own. What happens when someone is injured on the premises of a rental property?
As record droughts stretch across much of the United States, trees in many areas of Connecticut may be affected. This could lead to dangerous property conditions. With winter just around the corner, along with the typical hazards that winter brings like snow and ice, the combination of weakened trees and winter conditions could be a recipe for disaster.
This space has previously taken up the issue of what the three basic statuses are of people who are present on property owned by someone else. To refresh, these statuses include: licensee, invitee and trespasser. The reason the status of a visitor is important is that it affects the duty owed by the property owner to that individual. This may have quite an effect on a civil suit if a visitor in injured on the property. We recently discussed the duties a property owner may owe to a trespasser, but what about the other two categories?
Previous posts here have briefly discussed the various types of status a person may have when present on property owned by another person in Connecticut. Our readers may remember that a person may fall into one of three general categories relevant to this discussion: invitee, licensee and trespasser. We have also touched on the very basic duties a property owner owes to people who fall into each classification. In this post, we'll look a little more closely at what duty an owner may have to someone on the property without permission; i.e. a "trespasser."
In our past few posts dealing with premises liability, we have gone through the various elements of a negligence case, which is generally the theory under which Connecticut plaintiffs attempt to recover in these kinds of lawsuits. You may remember we have briefly discussed the elements of duty, breach, cause-in-fact and proximate cause. That leaves one last element required to recover under a negligence theory: damages.
This blog has been discussing the various elements of a negligence claim in Connecticut as they apply to premises liability cases over the past couple months. To review, to recover in negligence cases, a plaintiff generally must show that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff, that the duty was breached, that there was an injury and that the breach was both the cause-in-fact and proximate cause of the injury. In this installment we will touch on the next, and probably most complex element of such cases: proximate cause.