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Recent Blog Posts

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.  This means a landlord may be held legally liable for… Read More »

The Difference Between Negligent Hiring and “Respondeat Superior”

By Robert Ross |

PROPERTY OWNERS MUST USE REASONABLE CARE WHEN HIRING WORKERS Property owners have a legally recognized duty to use “due care” (essentially, reasonable care) whenn hiring employees and other persons to perform work on the land owner’s property. This liability also attaches to people in possession or control of land, if they hire workers or… Read More »

Is a Land Owner Liable if a Contractor Gets Injured on the Job?

By Robert Ross |

LAND OWNERS ARE GENERALLY NOT LIABLE FOR INJURIES TO CONTRACTORS OR THEIR EMPLOYEES Generally speaking, property owners are not liable for injuries to contractors or their employees who get injured on the job. This is because the contractor, not the property owner, is normally in charge of the time, place, and manner in which… Read More »

The Land Owner’s Duty to Maintain Property

By Robert Ross |

LAND OWNERS* MUST MAINTAIN PROPERTY IN REASONABLY SAFE CONDITION By law, property owners must “maintain” real property in reasonably safe condition. This includes not only the land itself but any improvements (buildings and other structures and fixtures) and landscape elements like bridges, ponds, and trees. The law does not distinguish between natural hazards and… Read More »

Do Property Owners Have a Duty to Trespassers?

By Robert Ross |

GENERALLY SPEAKING, PROPERTY OWNERS OWE NO DUTY TO PEOPLE ENGAGED IN FELONIOUS ACTS Although, as a general rule, property owners (and those with possession and control of real property) owe a duty to all people who enter the property, California law does recognize an affirmative defense if a person is injured while committing a… Read More »

Does a Property Owner’s Knowledge of Risks Increase Liability?

By Robert Ross |

Premises liability generally arises where a property owner, or someone in possession or control of real property, has actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition, and fails to take proper steps to repair and/or warn people about the risk. However, the law does generally require the defendant to have either actual knowledge or constructive knowledge… Read More »

How Do Courts Evaluate “Duty” Under Premises Liability Law?

By Robert Ross |

STATUTES MAY ESTABLISH THE EXISTENCE OF A DUTY Sometimes, the land owner’s duty (or the duty of someone who possesses or controls real property) is established by statute. Statutes–the formal word for laws created by a legislative or administrative body–establish various duties with which persons who own, control, or possess real property must comply. Where… Read More »

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