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Tag Archives: plaintiff

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 »

What is a Statute of Limitations?

By Robert Ross |

STATUTES OF LIMITATION LIMIT THE TIME A PERSON HAS TO BRING A LEGAL CLAIM OR ACTION Generally speaking, the law favors certainty. For this reason, the law disfavors people being required to defend a lawsuit after too much time has expired. When lawsuits are not brought within a reasonable time, it becomes more difficult… Read More »

Special Duties of Animal Owners

By Robert Ross |

OWNERS HAVE A DUTY TO WARN OTHERS ABOUT DANGEROUS ANIMALS While animals are often loving, positive parts of people’s lives, people who own or have control over animals also have a duty to know their pets’ propensities (including temperament, behavior patterns, and likelihood of aggression) and to warn other people if pets are–or may be–dangerous… Read More »

When Has a Person Breached the Duty of Care?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A BREACH OF DUTY? Generally speaking, a “breach” of a duty occurs when a person acts (or fails to act) in a way that violates an applicable, legally-recognized standard of care. Sometimes, people behave in a careless or insensitive manner – or even with hostility – but if the conduct does not… Read More »

Understanding the Legal Difference Between Misfeasance and Nonfeasance

By Robert Ross |

A person’s legal obligations may include a duty to act (an affirmative duty to take some action), a duty to refrain from acting (a duty not to take certain actions), or both. Legal duties may also take on different characteristics in different circumstances, and may include both the duty to act affirmatively in certain situations… 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 »

Who Can Be Held Liable For Premises Liability?

By Robert Ross |

WHO IS LIABLE (AND WHO IS PROTECTED) UNDER PREMISES LIABILITY LAW? Premises liability law is often used to protect the rights of tenants or visitors who are injured or whose property suffers damage while visiting or doing business on someone else’s property. Generally speaking, the duty to repair and maintain property and improvements arises… Read More »

Negligence in Property Maintenance: Premises Liability

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS “PREMISES LIABILITY”? Premises liability is a branch of negligence law that relates to the way real property, and the buildings and other “improvements” on real property, are constructed, maintained, and managed. As the name suggests, premises liability law deals with the way people (and businesses) that own, manage, or possess property may… Read More »

Is “Free Speech” a Defense to Negligence?

By Robert Ross |

IN CERTAIN CASES, THE EXERCISE OF CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED RIGHTS CAN PROVIDE A DEFENSE TO NEGLIGENCE. Both the California constitution and the Constitution of the United States grant people certain rights–for example, the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, and the free exercise of religion. Religion may provide at least a partial defense to… 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 »

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