Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions

I am a small business owner and am constantly worried about someone slipping and falling as they enter my business. It can be slippery just inside the door when it rains. What are my obligations with regard to this possible hazard?, Business First, May 10

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Business First, Legal Forum, May 10, 2013

Authored by Chris Gadansky

As a premises owner, the duty you owe to people depends on your relationship with them. Most who enter your business will be "invitees." With regard to invitees, you must use ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. However, people cannot walk blindly into open or obvious dangers. Recently, Kentucky modified its law so that you may still be liable for a person's injuries if you had reason to anticipate the harm to an invitee, despite the hazard's open and obvious nature. You normally will not be held liable for dangers that are created by the elements, such as rain puddles, snow or ice, unless you take action to create a danger greater than that naturally occurring (i.e., open the doors so that rain pours onto your business's floor or clear ice and snow in such a way that makes a sidewalk or entranceway actually more hazardous). Ultimately, the determination of what is "open and obvious" is a factual question for the jury to decide.

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