What Are The Legal Safety Standard In A Premises Liability Case?
The safety standard in a premises liability case is that the property owner owes the duty of exercising reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition. This may include conducting proper maintenance, inspections, warnings, and repairs.
The ultimate question to be answered by the jury is: Did the defendant act as a reasonable person in view of the probability of injury to others given the circumstances of the particular situation?
How To Establish The Reasonableness Standard In A Premises Liability Case?
The standard of reasonable care can be established by evidence of:
(2) Government regulations, such as those provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and local building codes; or
(3) the defendant’s voluntary standards, those policies that the defendant voluntarily placed on itself.
The ASTM and ANSI Safety Standard In A Premises Liability Case
The ASTM provides acceptable standards for safe walking surfaces, designs and maintenance. These standards provide that walkways, stairs, gratings, and wheel stops must be slip resistant, must protect against changes in elevation, must have routine inspections and maintenance, and the must have proper illumination.
ANSI develops standards industrial and workplace settings. ANSI does not apply to construction, retail, office, residential, or public premises.
OSHA Safety Standard In A Premises Liability Case
The OSHA is a body of federal safety rules and procedures applied to certain businesses and industries to address workplace safety. OSHA may be used to evidence industry customs and practices.
The ADA Standard In A Premises Liability Case
The ADA requires that all floors and stairs located in public buildings are safe, stable, and slip resistant for those with disabilities. Pursuant to the ADA, an applicable plaintiff may be able to recover punitive damages if there is a violation of the ADA.
Requirement Of Experts To Establish The Safety Standard In A Premises Liability Case
It is important to note that an expert is needed to prove that there was a violation of an act or code. Government regulations provide the minimum safety compliance standards. Defendants are held accountable for exercising “reasonable care” which is a higher standard of care than what is established by government regulations.
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