What do movie stars Sharon Stone and Demi Moore have in common? While their respective choices in acting roles have been very different, the two women share something else in common; they both have been involved in legal cases that centered upon premises liability. In Stone’s case, a speaker installer came to her property to set up some new speakers back in 2006. He fell in her backyard and then claimed that his accident was due to Stone’s negligence for failing to warn him about a drop-off in the yard. In the end, the plaintiff was awarded over $200,000 for his injuries.
In Demi Moore’s case, neither she nor her family were in town at the time of the incident. Her assistant threw a party at her home, and one of the attendees of the party tragically drowned in her swimming pool. In their complaint, the deceased man’s family argued that Moore should have installed depth markers to indicate how deep her pool was in specific areas, as well as removing nearby rocks that could become potential hazards for those walking around the pool. Eventually, Moore reached a settlement with the plaintiffs, the terms of which do not appear to be public.
What Is Premises Liability?
As you can see in the above cases, premises liability can be applied to a multitude of different cases. The basic tenet is that owners must keep their properties safe and free of defects that could cause injury if guests are to come over. They are required to warn people of potential hazards if they exist. If the proper protocol is not followed, then property owners may be held responsible in the case of an unfortunate event that happens on their property.
If warnings have been issued by the owner, then the topic of comparative negligence will enter the equation. This can complicate matters even more, and certain percentages of the fault may be assigned to each party. These cases can often be highly subjective when presented in front of judges and juries; after all, what seems to be common sense to another person can feel completely foreign to another. Whether you’ve been injured on someone’s property or you are a homeowner seeking to protect your property, there’s never been a better time to consult with an Orange County premises liability lawyer.