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March 10, 2016
By Angelo A. Ziotas
Like most personal injury cases, premises liability cases arise from circumstances in which someone responsible for the safety of another fails to take care for that other person when he or she should have. Unlike other personal injury cases, however, the responsibility of the person owning or controlling the property, whether a private homeowner, a retail establishment, a commercial business or a municipal or state government entity, depends on whether the person injured was invited or even allowed on the property. In Connecticut, such claims can be complicated, and the law is continually changing. These areas were discussed at a recent Connecticut Trial Lawyers (CTLA) seminar on “Winning the Defective Premises Case” that was co-chaired by Angelo A. Ziotas, a partner at Silver Golub & Teitell LLP.
“This seminar provided a comprehensive overview and analysis of premises liability law for every level of experience,” said Mr. Ziotas. “It is essential that trial lawyers understand that to win a defective premises case, they must prove that the property owner was negligent regarding either ownership or maintenance of the property and failed to use reasonable care in connection with the property.”
Topics that were discussed during the CTLA seminar included:
- Supreme and Appellate Court Case Review: Analysis of New Developments in the Common Law
- Social Host Liability re: Alcohol Issues, including Representing the Victim in Criminal Proceedings
- Municipal Liability and Immunity in the Defective Premises Context
- Notice Issues
The seminar reviewed some recent significant cases decided by the Connecticut Supreme Court concerning the duty owed by land possessors, the liability of retailers under the “mode of operation” rule, the assignment of liability to third parties and the use of commercial lease anti-subrogation clauses.
In Connecticut, people in possession and control of properties, such as owners, landlords and property managers, have far-reaching obligations regarding the safety of those properties. These include the proper maintenance of a wide range of areas in and about the properties, such as staircases, hallways, sidewalks, parking lots and the aisles of retail stores.