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What Duty of Care Does a Business Owner Owe a Shopper?


If it is determined that the plaintiff was an invitee of the business owner, then the business owner has a legal duty to exercise ordinary care to keep their premises safe for that invitee. This includes protecting invitees from any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should reasonable know about as well as regularly inspecting the property in order to fix or warn invitees about any dangerous conditions.

Situations involving invitees in which a business owner may have failed to provide a duty of ordinary care and may be liable for a visitor’s injuries include:

  • Injuries caused by a defective sliding door
  • Injuries caused by improperly assembled shelves
  • Injuries cause by improperly assembled and/or poorly maintained ceilings
  • A business owner failing to provide a safe parking lot for customers
  • Slip and fall injuries caused by a we floor

However, even if a visitor is determined to be a trespasser, a business owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by the trespasser if it is determined that the business owner created dangerous conditions on his property or attempted to make known dangerous conditions worse in order to catch or punish trespassers.

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