Monday, July 14, 2014

Manager Liability

I was reading an interesting article last week regarding whether a property manager can be liable for injuries that happen on property owned by someone else.  The answer in Mississippi seems to be a definite maybe. The Mississippi Supreme Court has stated that “the owner, occupant, or person in charge of premises owes to an invitee or business visitor a duty of exercising reasonable or ordinary care to keep the premises in reasonably safe and suitable condition or of warning [the] invitee of dangerous conditions not readily apparent which [the] owner knows or should know of in the exercise of reasonable care.”  Mayfield v. The Hairbender, 903 So. 2d 733, 735-36 (Miss. 2005) (en banc) (quoting Wilson v. Allday, 487 So. 2d 793, 795-96 (Miss. 1986)) (quotations omitted) (emphasis added) (alterations in original).  The term "person in charge of premises" has been construed to include a manager in one case I am aware of.  Smith v. Petsmart, Inc. , 278 Fed. Appx. 377 (5th Cir. 2008).  This was a sufficient enough ambiguity to keep a premises liability case to remand a case from federal court to state court in Smith.     

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