» Premises Liability

Premises Liability

If someone owns land/property, they are responsible for certain injuries sustained by someone on that land/property. Typically, this is referred to as premises liability law, but the origin of this word is from the Latin prae-missus, meaning “placed before.” Premises became the word to choice for property owners, because they found the word praemissus in their property deeds.

In 1968, the California Supreme Court did away with the significance of legal distinctions like licensee, invitee and trespasser when dealing with premises liability cases. They stated the distinctions did not matter in determining if someone could hold a landowner liable for injuries. This was a landmark decision and shaped the development of premises law for the nation.

What is important is that there must be some type of negligence or a wrongful act. Over time, premises liability has come to include cases where a person is hurt on the premises of another by a third party’s wrongful act; in other words, third party premises liability. These are complex cases, and the law in this area is constantly changing. The main issues involve a victim wanting to hold a landowner directly/vicariously liable for harm inflicted by a third party and not the landowner.