Landlord Liability for Dangers on a Leased Business Premises
I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.
Today’s question comes from a caller who fell on a sidewalk curbing while going to her accountant’s office. The accountant says that if anybody is liable for her injury, it is the accountant’s landlord. The caller wants to know her legal rights.
A landlord may under certain circumstances be held liable for injuries sustained by a third person on the leased premises, regardless of the purpose for which the premises are leased.
A landlord who leases property may be liable to an injured business patron of a lessee, where the injury is caused by a defect with the premises.
Liability exposure can also result where the landlord was negligent in making repairs or improvements to the premises.
The curbing where she fell did not comply with the building code in the caller’s case.
The accountant had complained to the landlord in the past about the failure to comply with the building code.
Where property is leased for public use, which invites people to come to the property to transact business, the lessor may be held liable for personal injuries sustained by a business patron, where the injury is caused by conditions existing at the time of the lease, or under the landlord’s control.
While the typical defendant in an action for personal injuries occurring on business premises is the actual operator of the business in possession of the premises at the time of the accident. A customer of a business establishment injured on the premises should always consider the possible owner-lessor liability, where the business is operated by a tenant. There are circumstances in which the owner-lessor will be responsible for such injuries.
Therefore, the attorney representing the injured party in such a case should determine the ownership of the premises involved, and if the owner is not also the operator of the business, the precise relationship between them.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”