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Recent Blog Posts

Are Property Owners Liable For Contractors’ Mistakes?

By Robert Ross |

NON-DELEGABLE DUTIES CAN CREATE LEGAL LIABILITY FOR LAND OWNERS WHEN A CONTRACTOR ACTS NEGLIGENTLY Many property owners hire contractors and assume, if anyone is injured during construction, that the contractor will bear the legal liability for the injury. However, this is not always true. California law imposes certain duties on the owner or possessor… Read More »

Res Ipsa Loquitur – Inferring Causation in Negligence Cases

By Robert Ross |

Plaintiffs Generally Must Prove All Elements Of A Case With Legally Admissible Evidence. Generally speaking, an injured plaintiff must prove all elements of his or her case in order to prevail. In negligence cases, this means proving: (1) the existence of a legally-recognized duty, (2) the defendant’s breach of that duty, (3) recoverable damages,… Read More »

Does a Business Owe a Duty of Care to Customers?

By Robert Ross |

“PUBLIC” BUSINESSES OWE A DUTY OF CARE TO PERSONS WHO ENTER When a business is open to the public, the owners of the business owe a duty of reasonable, ordinary care to the people who enter the business premises. The business owner must take reasonable steps to prevent customers being exposed to hazards or… Read More »

When Must Property Owners Warn of Hazards?

By Robert Ross |

PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE A DUTY TO WARN ABOUT KNOWN HAZARDS ON THE LAND. Simply put, California property owners – and those in possession and control of land – have a duty to warn people about known hazards on the land. This includes both hazards about which the property owner has actual knowledge and those… Read More »

What is “Negligence Per Se”?

By Robert Ross |

NEGLIGENCE “PER SE” CREATES A PRESUMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES Negligence “per se” arises in situations where a statute (law) or other applicable regulation establishes a standard of care, a defendant breaks the law (thereby violating the standard of care) and injury results. Negligence per se creates a┬ápresumption that the defendant’s actions were… Read More »

The Duty to Protect Against Third Party Crimes

By Robert Ross |

SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS MAY GIVE RISE TO A DUTY TO PREVENT FORESEEABLE CRIMES Generally speaking, the law does not require people to protect others against the possibility of third party crimes. However, property owners (and those in possession or control of land) may have such a duty where a legally-recognized “special relationship” exists between the… Read More »

The Land Owner’s Duty to Protect Children From Harm

By Robert Ross |

PROPERTY OWNERS HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM FORESEEABLE HARM The law imposes special duties on land owners (and those in possession and control of land) where children are involved. Specifically, owners of land (and those in possession or control of property) must take reasonable steps to protect children against reasonably foreseeable hazards…. Read More »

Liability for the Acts of Others

By Robert Ross |

Generally speaking, California law does not require people to control the acts of others, or to warn people about the potential actions of third parties. As a general rule, the law makes each person liable for his or her own actions, and not for the actions of others. However, California also recognizes many exceptions… Read More »

Who Has Liability for Dangerous Sidewalks?

By Robert Ross |

PROPERTY OWNERS MUST NOT CREATE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS ON SIDEWALKS California law does not require property owners to maintain public sidewalks adjacent to their properties. Maintenance of public sidewalks is generally the duty of the city or municipality that owns the walkway. However, where statutes (laws) or other regulations (such as CC&Rs) require property owners… Read More »

Landlords Have a Duty to Inspect Rental Properties

By Robert Ross |

LANDLORDS MUST KEEP RENTAL PROPERTY IN REASONABLY SAFE CONDITION In California, landlords have a legally-recognized duty to keep rental property “reasonably safe.” This duty is owed to tenants and to other people (“third parties”) who enter the land or rental units for various reasons. ┬áThis means a landlord may be held legally liable for… Read More »

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