premises liability

Premises Liability: The Limits of a Host’s Duty of Care

Under Massachusetts’ law of premises liability, a homeowner’s duty of care to her guests includes keeping her property in reasonably safe condition. This means, among other things, guarding against conditions that could cause reasonably foreseeable injuries to guests. It might involve, for instance, taking steps to prevent foreseeable injury caused by third parties who come on the property, or warning a guest of a nonobvious danger on the property. When a guest has been injured by a property condition in Massachusetts, determining whether the host took “reasonable” steps to prevent that injury requires an examination of the totality of the circumstances. On one hand, the host may breach her duty by failing to take simple steps to prevent an injury that was obviously foreseeable. On the other hand, she may not breach her duty if the injury stemmed from a freak accident that would have required extraordinary foresight to anticipate

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Postal Worker falls down stairs: $175,000 settlement

A letter carrier slipped and fell on a homeowner’s outside wooden steps when the handrail moved away from him as he grabbed for it. The defective handrail had been repaired before our office got involved in the case but we were able show that the defective handrail existed at the time of the fall, thus proving fault of the homeowner. Our client injured both knees and had knee surgery as well as treatment for an injured shoulder. The claim against the homeowner was settled by their insurer during Mediation shortly before trial for $175,000.00. The letter carrier continues to get his medical coverage through the U. S. Postal Service.

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