Massachusetts premises liability law provides injury victims with a way to recover for injuries they suffered because of a landowner or occupier’s negligence. Generally, the law requires that property owners take reasonable measures to maintain a safe environment. Liability for injuries depends on the type of accident, visitor, and whether the defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition.
The most common types of accidents that lead to a premises liability lawsuit include injuries related to slip and falls, trips on broken steps or stairs, dog bites, inadequate lighting or maintenance, and swimming pool accidents. The duty a property owner owes to the injury victims may vary depending on whether the visitor was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Finally, in most cases, the plaintiff must be able to establish that the property owner had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition.
Premises liability against negligent landlords can be challenging because landlords will often claim that they were not aware of the dangerous condition. However, landlords may be liable if the plaintiff establishes that the defective condition was under the landlord\’s control, the landlord negligently or carelessly made repairs, or they concealed a dangerous situation. For example, according to a recent news report, a landlord in nearby New York state was sentenced to prison and will likely face civil charges for knowingly concealing a gas line that caused a deadly explosion. The gas company notified the landlord that a proposed gas line was unsafe and would not be approved; however, the landlord continued to rent units by siphoning gas from a neighboring building. The landlord instructed workers to turn off the gas when the gas company inspector was visiting. Moments after the gas company left the premises, the workers turned the gas back on, resulting in a huge blast causing two buildings to collapse and several injuries and deaths.
This case is an example of actual notice because it is clear that the landlord knowingly engaged in deceptive and unsafe behavior. Many cases are not so clear, and plaintiffs must be able to establish that the defendant had constructive knowledge. Constructive notice is a legal theory that assumes knowledge because the dangerous condition is so apparent that the landlord should have known about it. In premises liability actions, plaintiffs may be able to show that the landlord had constructive knowledge because they made periodic inspections of the area or posted warnings.
Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Massachusetts Landlord?
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries because of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Massachusetts premises liability lawsuit. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., have over two decades of experience handling complex personal injury lawsuits. The attorneys at our firm possess the unique ability to provide each client with a personalized approach to their case. We have successfully recovered substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Our attorneys have changed the course of many victims’ lives. Contact our office at 800-262-9200 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.