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Tag Archives: California

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 »

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 »

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 Effect of Illegal Activities on Negligence Liability

By Robert Ross |

IN SOME CASES, ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES MAY CONSTITUTE “NEGLIGENCE PER SE” When a defendant’s actions violate an applicable ordinance, law, or regulation, and the violation results in harm or damage to persons or property, the violation may constitute “negligence per se.” Negligence per se is a legal doctrine that creates a presumption of negligence–though the doctrine… Read More »

Negligence Arising From “Special Relationships”

By Robert Ross |

THE LAW RECOGNIZES CERTAIN “SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS” THAT MAY GIVE RISE TO NEGLIGENCE-RELATED DUTIES Legal liability for negligence requires four elements: (1) a legally recognized duty, (2) a breach of that duty, (3) causation, and (4) damages. Many duties are imposed or created by law, including duties that arise from the relationship between the relevant… Read More »

Can A “Good Samaritan” Be Held Liable For Negligence?

By Robert Ross |

WHEN “GOOD SAMARITANS” ACT NEGLIGENTLY, LEGAL LIABILITY MAY OCCUR The Biblical story of the “Good Samaritan” describes a person (a Samaritan) who voluntarily helps an injured man he discovers lying by the side of the road. In the Bible, the Samaritan is praised for his actions – as, indeed, society does (and should) consider… Read More »

Permissive Use Liability in Automobile Accidents

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “PERMISSIVE USE” LIABILITY? Permissive use liability is a form of imputed or vicarious liability created under the California Vehicle Code (Section 17150). This statute is one of several legal theories that hold the owner of a motor vehicle (often, but not limited to, an automobile) legally responsible for injuries caused by people using the… Read More »

Who Is Legally Liable For Dangerous Conditions on Property?

By Robert Ross |

PREMISES LIABILITY LAW DOES NOT APPLY ONLY TO OWNERS OF PROPERTY. Premises liability law creates duties, rights, and remedies relating to real property and improvements on real property, like buildings, recreational equipment (e.g., swimming pools), and certain kinds of landscaping. The potential liability associated with premises liability applies to any person (including corporations and other legal… Read More »

Compensatory Damages in Malicious Prosecution Actions

By Robert Ross |

WHAT ARE COMPENSATORY DAMAGES? Compensatory damages are damages designed to make the plaintiff “whole.” Put another way, compensatory damages attempt to compensate the plaintiff–to “pay back” the damages the plaintiff has incurred as a result of the defendant’s wrongful conduct. Generally speaking, only prevailing plaintiffs are able to recover damages. This means the plaintiff must… Read More »

The Definition–and Duty–of “Common Carriers”

By Robert Ross |

WHAT ARE COMMON CARRIERS? Legally, a “common carrier” is any person or company that transports passengers or goods at standardized rates along regular routes. In simpler terms: any taxi, bus, train, airline, or trucking company is a common carrier, as is any other company (or individual) that performs a similar, regular service on a… Read More »

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