Susanne E. "Susie" Ingold is an experienced commercial litigator whoe practice focuses on employment law, general liability and construction-related issues.
Q: As a business owner, if I learn about a potentially dangerous condition at my place of business, what are my obligations?
A: Once you learn about a potential danger, you have a legal duty to remedy it or clearly warn about it. Because the law requires you to make your business premises reasonably safe for your customers’ use, you must correct or warn of unreasonably dangerous conditions that you can reasonably foresee might endanger a customer or "business invitee." You also have a duty to regularly inspect the property to determine whether any dangerous conditions exist because in some instances, you may be liable if you should have discovered the condition but didn't. Even if the potential danger appears obvious, you may still have a duty to warn your customers about it. That mean clearly and effectively calling out the condition with signage, safety warning signals, cones, barriers, railings, or some other clearly identifiable warning mechanism.