Case: Negligence and Assumption of Risk
Issue: Are store and Vinny liable for Maria’s injury that was occurred in the store?
Rules: Business owners and operators owe a DUTY OF CARE to their patrons – those whom they invite onto their premises. If a customer is harmed or injured by the dangerous condition, the business operator will normally be liable for damages for the tort of NEGLIGENCE. ASSUMPTION OF RISK – A plaintiff who voluntary enters into a risky situation, knowing the risk involved, will not be allowed to recover. The Requirement of Assumption of Risk – Knowledge of the Risk and Voluntary Assumption of the Risk. BATTERY – An unexcused, harmful, or offensive physical contact intentionally performed.
* “EMPLOYEES ONLY” area – A business operator beaches DUTY OF CARE when he or she fails to detect and remove a dangerous condition on the premises that poses a foreseeable risk of injury to customers. However, the business’s liability to customers does not extend to those areas of the premises to which the public is not invited – that is, to areas reserved for employees use only and clearly marked so. * Intentional ignorance of the conspicuous sign – Maria intentionally ignored the “EMPLOYEES ONLY” sign and entered an area of the store to which customers were not invited. Therefore, if Maria is injured by a dangerous condition within this area, the store can defend against liability for negligence by raising the defense of ASSUMPTION OF RISK. * “You can’t come in here!” – Vinny orally notified Maria that she should not have entered the “EMPLOYEES ONLY” area. * “I am ordering you to leave” – Vinny went one step further. He not only warned Maria that the area is extremely dangerous, but also ordered her to leave. The defense of ASSUMPTION OF RISK requires plaintiff’s knowledge of the risk and the voluntary assumption. * “No, don’t touch it… please?” – Maria specifically requested Vinny not to touch her ankle,