Careless Customers or Unsafe Business Premises?
Boston, Massachusetts (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News Report) – In almost every business, no matter where its location, some risk is possible toward the customers. But what actually constitutes whether it was simply the carelessness of the individual or the negligence of the business? One way to test is called the ‘mode of operation’ which is premised on the foresee ability of dangerous conditions present on a business owner’s premises. According to an article published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, “When the operating methods of a business are such that dangerous conditions, such as spills by patrons are recurring or easy to anticipate, the business customer, injured by the dangerous and recurring condition, need not show notice of the specific condition created.” Slipping on fruit in a self-service grocery store, for example.
This is illustrated in a case in which the plaintiff slipped and fell on the wet floor of a movie-theater bathroom and moved for summary judgment in a negligence action case against the defendant – the owner of Cinemark. In order for this rule to apply, the business must have been able to reasonably anticipate the dangerous condition on a regular basis and here that is not the case. If she was to have a case, she would have to ‘identify the hazardous condition that cause her to slip, prove that it was present prior to her injury, and demonstrate that the defendant either caused the substance to be there, had actual knowledge of its existence or had a reasonable opportunity to discover and remedy it.’ This was not proven by a small amount of water from a running faucet.
In this instance, the court ruled that the defendant had satisfied its burden and proved that it neither breached a duty to the plaintiff nor caused her injury. There must be great differentiation and specificity when using the ‘mode of operation’, if not, the rule could be applied in each and every negligence case.
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