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The Law of Premises Liability

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This newly-revised treatise addresses one of the most frequently asserted theories of recovery in the field of tort law, personal injury actions brought by entrants against owners or occupiers of land. The Law of Premises Liability is an extensively-researched and highly-readable volume providing up-to-date coverage of all issues relating to premises liability.

Discussing the latest case law from all 50 states, this volume remains the most complete and up-to-date resource available on the law of premises liability.

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Table of Contents

 Chapter 1: Introduction


1.1 In general

1.2 Scope

1.3 Persons liable for harm to entrants: In general

1.4 -Owners vs. possessors

1.5 -Landlord not in possession or control

1.6 -Owners engaging independent contractors

1.7 -Non-possessors creating dangerous conditions on premises

1.8 -Vendors

1.9 -Realtors

1.10 -Builders

1.11 -Manufacturers and sellers of chattels

Chapter 2: Liability To Trespassers For Unintended



2.1 In general

2.2 Who is a trespasser?

2.3 Willful or wanton misconduct

2.4 Constant trespassers

2.5 Known trespassers: In general

2.6 -Duty to render assistance

2.7 Trespassers on property adjacent to public way

2.8 Child trespassers: In general

2.9 -Turntable cases and attractive nuisance

2.10 -Restatement '339, First Edition

2.11 -Restatement '339, Second Edition

2.12 -Elements of '339

2.13 -Present status of '339

Chapter 3: Liability To Licensees For Unintended



3.1 In general

3.2 Who is a licensee? Definitions

3.3 -Permission

3.4 -Licensee by invitation

3.5 -Change of status after entry

3.6 -Specific groups

3.7 Duty to licensees

3.8 Conditions on the premises: In general

3.9 -Hidden dangers

3.10 -Possessor's knowledge of the hazard

3.11 -Possessor s knowledge of licensee's presence

3.12 -Adequacy of warning

3.13 -Licensee's knowledge of the hazard

3.14 -Changed conditions

3.15 Activities: In general

3.16 -Negligence

3.17 -Possessor's knowledge of licensee's presence

3.18 Child licensees: In general

3.19 -Conditions on the premises

3.20 -Activities

3.21 Social guests

Chapter 4: Liability To Invitees For Unintended



4.1 In general

4.2 Who is an invitee? In general

4.3 -Elements of invitee status

4.4 -Scope of invitation

4.5 Duty to invitees: In general

4.6 -Conditions on the premises: In general

4.7 -Dangerous instrumentalities

4.8 -Possessor's knowledge

4.9 -Scope of duty

4.10 -Activities on the premises

4.11 -Acts of third persons: In general

4.12 -Duty to rescue

4.13 Child invitees: In general

4.14 -Area of invitation

4.15 -Warning

4.16 Contributory negligence

4.17 Assumption of risk: In general

4.18 -Implied

4.19 -Express

Chapter 5: Miscellaneous Categories


A. Public Employees

5.1 In general

5.2 Firefighters: In general

5.3 -Harm caused by negligently set fire

5.4 -Landowner's violation of statute or ordinance

5.5 -Falls through open spaces

5.6 -Explosions

5.7 -Collapsing structures

5.8 -Inhalation of smoke or fumes

5.9 Police officers

5.10 Postal employees

5.11 Other public employees

5.12 Abolition of categories

B. Recreational Entrants

5.13 Recreational statutes: In general

5.14 -Purpose of statutes

5.15 -Statutory definition of "recreational purpose"

5.16 "Charge" or "consideration": In general

5.17 -Direct fees

5.18 -Indirect benefits

5.19 Landowner's duty

5.20 Child trespassers

5.21 Type of land affected

5.22 Entrants excluded

5.23 Constitutionality

Chapter 6: Abolition Of Categories


6.1 Dissatisfaction with common-law categories

6.2 Initial departures from common-law rules

6.3 Rowland v. Christian

6.4 -Impact of Rowland

6.5 -Retroactive vs. prospective applicability

6.6 -Application of Rowland

6.7 -Resistance to Rowland

6.8 -Rowland reconsidered

6.9 -Beyond Rowland: Strict liability?

Chapter 7: The Slip-and-fall Case


7.1 In general

7.2 Causation and existence of condition

7.3 Proof of unreasonable danger: In general

7.4 -Safety statutes

7.5 -Expert testimony

7.6 -Inference from nature of condition

7.7 -Other factors showing likelihood of harm

7.8 Proof of defendant's knowledge: In general

7.9 -Actual knowledge

7.10 -Constructive knowledge: In general

7.11 Proof that condition was created by defendant

7.12 Special rules for self-service slip-and-fall cases

Chapter 8: Liability For Other-than-negligent



8.1 In general

A. Possessor's Intentional Tort Liability

8.2 Scope of possessor's privilege to defend property

8.3 Use of reasonable force

8.4 Use of deadly force: In general

8.5 -In defense of habitation

8.6 -In defense of property other than habitation

8.7 Use of mechanical devices: Non-deadly and deadly

8.8 Statutes affecting privilege to defend property

8.9 Shopkeeper's privilege to detain

B. Possessor's Strict Tort Liability

8.10 In general

8.11 Strict liability for abnormally dangerous activity: In general

8.12 -Invitees

8.13 -Licensees

8.14 -Trespassers

8.15 -Defenses

8.16 Strict liability for injury by animals: Invitees and licensees

8.17 -Trespassers

8.18 -Defenses

8.19 -Statutes

Chapter 9: Landlord And Tenant


9.1 Landlord's liability at common law

9.2 Present status of landlord's duty

9.3 Landlord's liability for latent defects existing at commencement

of tenancy: In general

9.4 -Landlord's duty to entrants other than tenants

9.5 -Landlord's duty to repair defects existing at commencement of


9.6 Landlord's duty with respect to premises leased for public use

9.7 Landlord's duty to repair: Under covenant to repair

9.8 -Tort duty arising from covenant to repair

9.9 -Under gratuitous promise to repair

9.10 -Negligent performance of duty to repair

9.11 Landlord's duty with respect to areas and instrumentalities under

landlord's control: In general

9.12 -What constitutes control

9.13 -Defenses

9.14 -Slip-and-fall cases

9.15 -Ice and snow

9.16 -Fire escapes

9.17 -Appliances furnished for common use

9.18 -Plumbing

9.19 -Heating

9.20 -Electricity

9.21 -Duty to light common areas

9.22 Landlord's liability for harm caused by third persons: Criminal


9.23 -Negligent acts by independent contractors

9.24 -Negligent acts by third persons other than employees or independent


9.25 -Injuries caused by animals kept by tenants

9.26 Landlord's tort liability for violation of statute, ordinance

or regulation: In general

9.27 -Landlord's duty within demised premises

9.28 -Landlord's duty to maintain common areas

9.29 Invasion of privacy

9.30 Slumlordism as a tort

9.31 Exculpatory clauses

9.32 Poisoning from lead-based paint

9.33 Implied warranty of habitability: In general

9.34 -Short-term lease of furnished housing

9.35 -Modern trend

9.36 -Liability for personal injuries or property damage

9.37 Liability based on general negligence principles

9.38 Strict liability in tort

Chapter 10: Suits Against Government


A. Federal Government

10.1 In general

10.2 Exclusions

10.3 Applicable law

10.4 Child trespassers: In general

10.5 -Explosives

10.6 -Other hazards

10.7 Federal government buildings and grounds: In general

10.8 -Post offices

10.9 -Hospitals

10.10 -National parks

10.11 -National monuments and museums

10.12 -Miscellaneous premises

10.13 Federal government as landlord

10.14 Liability of the United States as an employer of independent contractors

10.15 -Injuries resulting from dangerous condition or activity

10.16 -Injuries resulting from government's negligence

10.17 -Injuries resulting from independent contractor's negligence

B. State Governments

10.18 In general

10.19 Injuries in state parks

10.20 Injuries in state buildings

10.21 Liability as employer of independent contractor

10.22 Counties

C. Municipalities

10.23 In general

10.24 Abrogation of the governmental-vs.-proprietary-function distinction

10.25 Duty to entrants

D. Public Housing Authorities

10.26 In general

10.27 Duties as landlord: In general

10.28 -Statutory duties

10.29 -Prevention of harm from the negligent or criminal conduct of third


10.30 -Exculpatory clauses

10.31 -Notice

Chapter 11: Liability Of Owners And Occupiers

For Harm Caused By Criminal Acts Of Third Persons


11.1 In general

A. Liability Of Occupiers

11.2 In general

11.3 Duty to prevent criminal activity: In general

11.4 -Off-premises injuries

11.5 -Non-business premises

11.6 -Proof of foreseeability

11.7 -Policy considerations

11.8 -Standard of care

11.9 -Causation

11.10 -Night depositories and automatic teller machines

11.11 Duty to protect entrants once criminal episode has begun

11.12 -Standard of care

B. Liability Of Landlords

11.13 Traditional rule

11.14 Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Ave. Apartment Corp.

11.15 Impact of Kline

11.16 Summary

11.17 Foreseeability

11.18 Liability of public housing authorities

11.19 Liability of condominium association

Chapter 12: Liability Of Dramshop Owners,

Social Hosts And Others For Harm Caused By Intoxicated Persons


12.1 In general

A. Dramshop Liability

12.2 Dramshop liability: Historical overview

12.3 Duty: In general

12.4 -Judicial deference to legislature

12.5 -Preemption

12.6 -Penal statute as source

12.7 -Policy considerations

12.8 -Analogy to negligent entrustment

12.9 -To whom owed

12.10 Standard of care: In general

12.11 -Not to serve minors

12.12 -Not to serve visibly intoxicated persons

12.13 -Proof of visible intoxication

12.14 -Not to serve drunkards and other incompetents

12.15 -Need to take further protective measures

12.16 Cause-in-fact: In general

12.17 -But-for causation

12.18 -Multiple defendants

12.19 Proximate cause

12.20 Defenses

B. Beyond The Dramshop

12.21 Liability of social hosts: In general

12.22 -Duty

12.23 Liability of employers

12.24 Other extensions of liability


Table Of Cases