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Premises Liability and the Open and Obvious Clause

When someone slips and falls at your home or place of business, figuring out who is liable can be tricky. The open and obvious clause was overruled by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2013.

Premises Liability and the Open and Obvious Clause

Slip and fall cases are lawsuits filed against a business when a customer has slipped and fallen on the grounds of their property and been injured. These cases can quickly get complicated, which is why you should consult a Las Vegas slip and fall attorney before filing your claim.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is the basic understanding that a business or homeowner is responsible for keeping their property safe from injury-causing hazards. This can include a ripple in the carpet, a loose tile or accumulated snow and ice that has not been properly removed. It can even be something as simple as spilled water that was not cleaned up before someone slipped and was injured.

Who Is at Fault?

It can be difficult to determine fault in a premises liability case. It is true that home and business owners are responsible for keeping their facilities accident-free. However, it is also reasonable that customers and visitors should take basic precautions no matter where they are. To prove that the home or business owner is at fault, the plaintiff must prove that they knew about the condition and did not take proper steps to take care of it. A snowstorm that brings three feet of snow may take a business owner by surprise, and they may not get their sidewalk shoveled before customers arrive. If the storm was three days ago, however, they have had a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Open and Obvious Clause

In 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled on the open and obvious clause in Foster vs. Costco. The defendant argued that the fall and subsequent injury was caused by a hazard that was “open and obvious,” and therefore the fault was with the plaintiff, not the defendant. The Supreme Court ruled that a landowner is not free from the duty of reasonable care, even if a hazard is considered “open and obvious.”

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