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What Obligations Does a Nevada Mall Have to Provide Security?

Malls are an interesting example of privately owned public spaces. Like any public space where a significant number of people interact, there’s always a chance of something happening at a mall that could lead to personal injury. When the personal injury arises from what could be broadly described as a “security incident,” such as a fight between two patrons or a random shooting, the victims may want to explore filing suit against the owner or operator of the mall. But what obligations does a mall have to provide security?

Premises liability and security considerations

Someone who is injured in a purely accidental way at a mall often has a cause of action under the theory of premises liability. The law of premises liability requires businesses to keep their premises in reasonably safe condition for use. Sprague v. Lucky Stores, 109 Nev. 247, 250 (1993). If a business fails to comply with this rule and a patron is injured as a consequence, the business may be liable for negligence.

A typical example of a premises liability case is a slip-and-fall on a wet floor at a supermarket. Provided the supermarket caused the wet floor (for example, an employee mopped the floor and left it wet) or knew or had reason to know the floor was wet (a customer dropped a bottle of wine, or the wet spot had been there for long enough that the store should have discovered it) premises liability probably will apply.

Negligent security is a variation of premises liability. In Nevada business have a legal duty to prevent foreseeable criminal acts against visitors. Providing security is one way a business can do this, but the scope of the obligation will vary by the location and nature of the business. For example, a small strip mall may only be obligated to ensure that its parking lot and other publicly accessible spaces are well lit at night. But a large mall probably needs more: surveillance cameras, on-site guards, and so on.

Foreseeability can be a significant question

For a mall owner or operator to be liable for negligent security the event giving rise to the plaintiff’s injury must have been foreseeable and criminal. Foreseeability poses an interesting problem for some plaintiffs. One might successfully argue that muggings, sexual assault, and fist fights are all foreseeable possibilities in a place where large numbers of people congregate. But is a random shooting incident also foreseeable? In these times perhaps the answer is yes, but the next question is: what reasonable steps can a mall take to prevent such events?

Negligent security focuses on violent criminal behavior. Boorish and even harassing behavior isn’t necessarily criminal, even if the victim has a potential civil cause of action against the perpetrator. By the same token, however, providing a safe environment probably requires intervention in some otherwise noncriminal situations. This list of a mall security officer’s duties includes mediating disagreements between patrons. In some cases a security officer may make a situation worse, and may end up committing negligence as a consequence.

Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your case

Premises liability, and in particular negligent security, is a complex topic that relies heavily on the specific facts of each incident. For more than 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped injured clients recover compensation. If you have been injured in an incident at a mall and you questions about your legal options to seek compensation from the mall’s owner or operator, call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or reach us through our contact page.

Water Parks and Personal Injury

Water parks pose a range of potential risks for visitors. Wet surfaces are often slippery and can cause slip-and-fall accidents. Fast-moving water slides can cause users to collide with objects or each other. And water always poses a risk of drowning. The water park may bear legal responsibility for some injuries suffered by guests.

Water parks owe a high duty of care to guests

Every business owes its visitors a special legal duty to keep its premises reasonably safe for use. That means that a water park has a special obligation to ensure that its facilities are safely maintained. A water park’s failure to address a safety problem may give rise to a premises liability claim. Examples might include broken equipment, unaddressed slip risks, inadequate sanitation, or repairs that do not adequately restore a feature to a safe condition.

A facility’s violation of laws or regulations can improve the likelihood of a lawsuit’s success. Water facilities are subject to specific rules and regulations that govern their design and maintenance. For example, in Las Vegas the Southern Nevada Pool Code imposes requirements for any publicly accessible pool such as safely designed drainage, water quality standards, and proper surface care. Water parks are also required to have lifeguards regularly stationed where they can assist patrons in the event of an emergency. Lifeguards are required to hold certifications that qualify them to perform first aid and other life-saving procedures, as well as being able to rescue someone who has suffered an injury in the water.

Suing for wrongful death in drowning cases

Drowning is the worst-case scenario for a water park visitor. If someone should die from drowning at a water park and the park bears responsibility for the death, the person’s next-of-kin may have the option of suing for wrongful death. In a wrongful death suit the plaintiff can recover compensation for grief as well as other damages.

The highly publicized case of the boy beheaded by a waterslide in Kansas City offers an example of probably the most extreme case of negligence by a water park. According to the prosecutor pursuing criminal action against the slide’s owners, the slide’s design made it inherently unsafe. One hopes that the Kansas City accident gives operators of water rides reason to pause before building extremely unsafe amusements, but given the competitive landscape one can expect businesses to continue to push the safety envelope.

Talk to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney about your case

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you or a loved one has been injured at a water park and you would like to find out what your legal options are, call us today for a free attorney consultation. We’re available at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Childproofing a Home to Protect Little Ones and Prevent Liability

When a small child will be present in a home it’s vitally important that the homeowner take stock of potential hazards and, to the extent possible, remedy them. Many childproofing steps are simple—outlet covers, for example—and can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury to a child. Failing to address hazards could lead to a child’s serious injury or even death. Such tragedies can also create legal liability for an adult who hasn’t taken proper care.

Childproofing recommendations

The National Safety Council is one of many organizations focused on providing helpful guidance for people looking for ways to improve the safety of their homes. They identify a range of important issues to consider when evaluating a home’s potential hazards for children. Some examples include:

  • Keeping firearms out of reach of children.
  • Examining places of high risk for ways to limit a child’s access to them. Such places include areas with water (pools, spas, kitchens, bathrooms), heat (fireplaces and stoves), toxic materials (cleaners and medicines), and places with fall risks (stairs).
  • Securing heavy furniture to the wall or other stable feature, especially tippy furniture like tall dressers (such as the popular Ikea “MALM” dresser, which the company has repeatedly recalled following the deaths of several toddlers) or televisions.
  • Covering wall outlets and ensuring that electrical plugs are well-seated.

The steps a homeowner takes to childproof a home will vary depending on how frequently children will be present, how practical it is to address each hazard, and other personal factors. Someone who is only occasionally visited by their small grandchild may see little utility in securing every kitchen cabinet, while the parent of a small child probably should take the steps to secure as much as possible.

Childproofing and the law

There are no particular laws requiring individuals to childproof their homes. As a practical matter such laws aren’t necessary. Parents and other caregivers have plenty of incentive to keep their little ones safe without needing the state’s intervention.

The absence of specific laws places childproofing into the broad category of negligence. The key question in a typical negligence case is whether the person responsible for a child’s injury breached a duty of care owed to the child. Such duties include things like ensuring that a backyard pool can’t be accessed by children passing by the property. Whether an individual is committing negligence for failing to add locks to medicine cabinets or cover wall outlets will depend on the facts of the situation: the relationship of the homeowner to the child, the foreseeability of the child’s injury, and other factors.

GGRM is a Las Vegas personal injury law firm

The law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has provided personal, caring service to clients in personal injury cases for over 45 years. If you have questions about an injury to a child caused by inadequate childproofing of a home call us today for a free attorney consultation at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Suing for Injuries on Escalators

Suing for Injuries on Escalators

A fall on an escalator can cause terrible injuries. The moving stairs can cause serious cuts, grab loose clothing, and send a person tumbling out of control. Escalator-related injuries cause about 10,000 visits to emergency rooms in the United States each year. In some situations a person who is injured by an escalator may have reason to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. A fall on an escalator can happen for a number of reasons. These can be separated into several general categories:

1. Falls caused by improper maintenance.

An escalator that isn’t adequately maintained poses a danger to every rider, and the owner/operator may be liable for any resulting injuries under a theory of premises liability. Operators of escalators in public places, like malls, have a legal obligation to maintain them in reasonably safe condition for use. If the operator knows, or should know, about a dangerous condition, it must take steps to fix the problem. Sprague v. Lucky Stores, 109 Nev. 247 (1993).

2. Falls caused by other riders.

Someone busily rushing up or down an escalator could easily bump into another rider and cause that rider to fall. Given the inherent extra dangerousness of riding on an escalator, a person who aggressively pushes others out of the way may be responsible for any resulting injuries under a general negligence theory, or in more extreme cases may be liable for recklessness or even battery.

What matters is not that the defendant believed the bump wouldn’t be significant, but that the injured plaintiff was hurt. For example, it doesn’t matter that the defendant didn’t see that the person he was shoving was elderly and potentially unstable. Aggressively pushing past people on an escalator creates a risk for everyone.

3. Falls caused by a rider’s negligence.

People who ride on escalators bear a degree of responsibility for their own safety. A properly maintained escalator has a degree of dangerousness even in ordinary operation. That is why escalators bear signs instructing passengers to hold on to handrails and advising against using them with strollers or other carts. An operator sued by someone who falls due to nothing more than his or her own infirmity or clumsiness may have a successful argument that the rider assumes the risk of injury by stepping onto the escalator. This can apply even more to someone who rides despite having known balance problems, whether from a medical condition or drunkenness. A person who rides while knowing he or she is unfit may be committing an act of negligence which frees the operator from liability.

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has helped clients in the Las Vegas area recover compensation for personal injuries. If you have been injured in a fall on a escalator please reach out to us to discuss your legal options. For a free attorney consultation call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.

Premises Liability for Fights Between Guests

Premises Liability for Fights Between Guests

When a fight breaks out between guests in a casino or bar and someone gets seriously hurt as a result, a lawsuit can sometimes be brought against the owner of the venue on a theory of premises liability. Nevada law limits when businesses are liable for the wrongful actions of non-employees. Someone who is injured in a situation like this can benefit from understanding their legal options.

Premises liability, negligence, and fights

For a bar or nightclub to bear liability for injuries from a fight between patrons, it must have acted negligently. All businesses have a general obligation to keep their premises safe for visitors. A belligerent guest who is attacking others is arguably a “dangerous condition” that a venue can’t simply ignore without violating this general safety principle. How much obligation a venue has to maintain security and limit the accessibility of potential weapons, like glass bottles, will depend on the nature of the venue itself. A bar with a history of brawls is more likely to be liable for injuries from the next fight than a restaurant where fights are unheard of events.

Note that in its effort to foster a robust nightlife industry, Nevada has limited the liability of businesses that serve alcohol for injuries caused by their drunk patrons. Under NRS 41.1305, a licensed seller of alcohol is not liable for damages caused by patrons as a result of their consuming alcohol, unless the patron was underage. As a result, the mere fact that a patron was drunk is not enough to make a venue liable for the injuries the patron causes.

Nevada limits the liability of hotels for third-party torts

Nevada law protects the owners of hotels, inns, and other kinds of lodging from liability for injuries caused by visitors who are not employees or under the hotel’s control. Under NRS 651.015, an owner is civilly liable for such injuries only if:

  1. The wrongful act that caused the injury was foreseeable, and
  2. The owner did not exercise due care for the safety of the injured person, or failed to take reasonable precautions against the foreseeable act.

An act is only “foreseeable” if prior incidents of similar wrongful acts had taken place, and the owner was aware of them, or if the owner failed to exercise due care for the safety of the injured person. The latter type of “foreseeability” may seem unintuitive. The idea is that once a hotel owner becomes aware of a dangerous situation, it must exercise due care to prevent it from injuring guests.

These rules can be interpreted to mean that in many situations a hotel will not be liable for fights between guests, but facts matter. A venue where fights have regularly occurred in the past probably has a higher obligation to employ security personnel and take other steps. What qualifies as “due care” will vary according to the circumstances as well, but might include calling police and providing a safe exit route for people trying to flee. Whether due care includes an obligation to physically subdue a violent person will depend on a close look at the facts.

Consult with a personal injury lawyer

For over 45 years the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez has represented clients in the Las Vegas area in cases involving personal injury. Our attorneys can answer your questions about how to best pursue your legal rights after being injured in a fight. To speak to an attorney at no cost, please give us a call today at 702-388-4476. We can also be reached through our contacts page.

Runners and Dog Bite Injuries in Nevada

Runners and Dog Bite Injuries in Nevada

Being attacked by a dog is a runner’s worst nightmare. A dog’s bite can cause painful, debilitating injuries. It can also cause psychological harm, leading to anxiety and stress that can be difficult to overcome. Runners who are bitten by dogs often have the option of suing the person who was responsible.

Potential defendants in a dog attack

Determining who is legally and financially responsible for a dog is an important early step in bite lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances, responsibility can sometimes be placed with more than one person. Here are some common examples:

  • The owner. A dog’s owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent his or her pet from hurting other people and property. Liability often follows the owner even if the owner was not directly in control of the animal when the bite occurred.
  • A dog walker. If someone other than the owner is walking the dog at the time of the attack, that person may be liable for the injury, because a person walking a dog is responsible for keeping the dog under control. Bear in mind that professional dog walking businesses may have insurance available to help pay for injuries to third parties.
  • A property owner or landlord. In some situations a landlord may assume responsibility for a dog on his or her property. For example, in Wright v. Schum, 105 Nev. 611 (1989), a landlord was held responsible for injuries caused by a dog that escaped from an improperly fenced yard. The landlord had assumed legal responsibility for the dog because it had notice of the dog’s aggressive behaviors and had asked the tenant to keep it chained.

The elements of a dog bite claim in Nevada

In Nevada a dog bite is treated like most other kinds of personal injury. In a typical case the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. To win a dog bite lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to prove four things:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. Negligence claims need to rest upon a defendant’s legal obligation. In the case of dogs, this duty sometimes comes from local ordinances governing leash use. In Nevada dogs may be kept outside at a person’s home without being leashed provided they are kept within a fully enclosed space.
  2. The defendant breached its duty of care. This element simply requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant didn’t do what it was supposed to do. In the case of home-kept dogs, a homeowner who fails to maintain proper fencing might be breaching his or her duty of care. The same might hold true if someone lets an aggressively barking dog out a front door without being leashed.
  3. The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury. This element looks at two things. First, that the chain of events from the defendant’s breach of duty to the plaintiff’s injury shows causation. Second, that there weren’t intervening circumstances that might place responsibility elsewhere. For example, if the dog was properly leashed, but the leash harness was defective and broke, perhaps true responsibility lies with the harness manufacturer.
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages. The plaintiff must show that he or she has accumulated medical expenses and other compensable harm from the bite. Damages might include psychological counseling necessary to recover from the fear and anxiety that can follow a dog attack. This element serves to prevent litigation over minor incidents, like a dog rushing someone and barking, but not actually biting.

GGRM understands dog bite litigation

If you are a runner who has been injured by a dog the attorneys at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez can help you understand your legal options. For over 45 years we have helped dog bite victims in the Las Vegas area recover the compensation they deserve. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476 or send us a request on our contact page.

Homeowner Obligations Toward Utility and Mail Workers

Homeowner Obligations Toward Utility and Mail Workers

Everyone has heard stories about dogs going after postal workers. Sometimes the stories are funny, but more often they end with the worker suffering a serious bite. Nevada law imposes some basic requirements on homeowners to keep their properties safe for people who might visit while the homeowner is away: postal workers or inspectors from the local gas or electrical utility being just two examples.

Delivery and utility workers usually aren’t trespassing

In Nevada, homeowners have a general duty of care to keep their properties reasonably safe for lawful visitors. Nevada law provides that homeowners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers other than children in some situations, or where the trespasser is known to be in a dangerous location. It is also unlawful for homeowners to intentionally create dangerous conditions designed to hurt a trespasser. NRS 41.515.

Generally speaking, people delivering packages and mail to a home and people who come to a home in connection with utility work are not trespassing. The specific reason why varies. Absent a “No Trespassing” sign any visitor has an implied license to approach the front door of a home to speak to the occupant or leave a package there. U.S. Post Office rules specifically allow mail carriers to cross private property as part of their delivery duties. Utility workers, who often need to access to side or back of a home to check meters or repair equipment, typically receive express permission to enter through local laws or service agreements.

There can be exceptions to these general rules. For example, a utility worker might not be allowed to jump over a locked fence or break a chain just to check a meter. A mail carrier’s implied license probably doesn’t allow for packages to be carried around the side of a home or through a closed gate, whether or not it’s locked, unless they have a reasonable purpose for doing so. For example, a deliverer might want to leave a package safely out of sight so it doesn’t get stolen.

Ways a homeowner can keep a home “reasonably safe”

Because a homeowner won’t necessarily be at home when a delivery is made or a utility inspection is made, it’s important to take steps to make the property safe. Here are a few examples:

  • Ensure that the approach to the front door is free of hazards. Although a homeowner doesn’t need to constantly inspect for new dangers, care should be taken to address known risks. If a front step is dangerously loose, repairing it or at least putting out a warning sign might be necessary. If the front walk is icy, it might be necessary to shovel or salt it.
  • Warn about unleashed dogs. A homeowner is allowed to keep a dog off leash provided the dog is otherwise contained, such as with a fence. By posting “Beware of Dog” signs, the owner places visitors on notice that a dog is present and may pose a danger. Many utility inspectors carry mace to protect themselves from surprise dog attacks, so warning the worker also protects the dog.
  • Make sure dangerous conditions are easy to see. A homeowner who has created an unusually dangerous condition, such as a deep trench or exposed electrical work, needs to be especially mindful of the potential risks it poses to visitors. Posting warning signs, using yellow “caution” tape, or ensuring that the dangerous condition is well covered can be ways to reduce the risk to visitors.

GGRM can answer your questions

For over 45 years the lawyers at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have served the Las Vegas community. We understand the legal risks homeowners face and are here to answer questions about how those risks can be managed. For a free attorney consultation call us at 702-388-4476 or request a call through our website.

Do Outdoor Pools and Spas Need to be Covered?

Do Outdoor Pools and Spas Need to be Covered?

Homeowners often leave their pools uncovered and their spas unlocked. But leaving a pool or spa accessible and unattended can in some circumstances create a dangerous situation., especially for children. When a child sneaks onto a property to use a pool or spa and drowns or suffers other serious injury, a homeowner may be liable for the resulting damages under a legal theory called attractive nuisance.

The elements of attractive nuisance in Nevada

Landowners owe a general duty of care to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition for guests. This rule doesn’t apply to most trespassers, on the grounds that the trespasser is acting unlawfully and the landowner cannot take steps to protect someone who is on the property without the landowner’s knowledge.

The doctrine of attractive nuisance is an exception to the trespasser rule. Attractive nuisance applies in situations where a dangerous feature of a property is the sort of thing that a child could reasonably be expected to take an interest in. Even though a child may be trespassing to gain access to the feature, the doctrine makes the landowner liable for a child trespasser’s injuries because the landowner did not anticipate that a child might be attracted to the feature and did not take steps to secure it.

Secure your pool or spa

Pools and spas are textbook examples of attractive nuisance. They offer fun and relief from the Nevada heat. But they also present a serious danger of drowning. As such, a homeowner needs to take steps to ensure that a pool or spa is inaccessible to potential child trespassers. This might include surrounding them with a fence with a locking gate or using locking covers. Homeowners should be wary about fences that a child could easily climb over; bear in mind that children are resourceful and likely to take a few risks to get access to a pool.

Consequences for creating attractive nuisance

The consequences of not making an attractive nuisance secure can be substantial. When a child has an accident in a pool and dies or suffers serious injury like brain damage, the homeowner can be responsible for medical bills and the suffering of the child and his or her family. Most homeowner insurance policies require pools and spas to be made inaccessible in order to take the insurer off the hook in attractive nuisance cases. In other words, the homeowner likely will be personally responsible for paying the hurt child’s damages.

For over 45 years, the lawyers at Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have helped injured clients in the Las Vegas area protect their legal rights and get the compensation they deserve. If you have questions about how an uncovered pool or spa may expose you to risk, or if your child has been hurt in a neighbor’s pool and you’re wondering what your legal options are, our attorneys are happy to provide a no-cost consultation. Reach out to us today at 702-388-4476 or contact us through our website.

Who Is Responsible for Unsafe Conditions Created by Contractors Working on a Home?

Who Is Responsible for Unsafe Conditions Created by Contractor Working on a Home?

Contractors working on a home often create dangerous conditions as an ordinary part of their work. A deep trench, exposed live electrical wire, or unsupervised ladder can cause serious injuries to third parties who come onto the property. In a lawsuit arising from an injury caused by these kinds of dangerous conditions, the homeowner and the contractor both may face litigation.

Nevada contractor liability

Most types of personal injury claims against a residential contractor will rest on a theory of negligence. A negligence claim argues that the contractor failed to take reasonable care to prevent the plaintiff’s injuries. The standard of reasonable care for professionals often is drawn from applicable standards. Safety standards may come from industry groups or may be imposed by federal, state, or local law. A contractor who fails to comply with statutory or regulatory safety rules can be held strictly liable for injuries that result, regardless of whether the rules violation was due to negligence.

Nevada requires all contractors who work on residential projects to be licensed and bonded. A contractor license bond provides one potential source of financial compensation for someone who is injured by a contractor’s wrongful or negligent actions. Ideally, a contractor should also have liability insurance above and beyond the bond amount.

Homeowner premises liability

A Nevada homeowner owes guests a general duty of reasonable care. A homeowner owes guests a special duty to warn them of known unsafe conditions. A guest who is injured at the home can sue the homeowner, even if a contractor was responsible for the injuries. The homeowner, in turn, may bring the contractor into the lawsuit.

The reasonableness of a homeowner’s actions to protect guests from harm will depend on the circumstances. Moody v. Manny’s Auto Repair, 110 Nev. 320, 333 (1994). In the case of work done by a contractor, it may not be reasonable to expect a homeowner to take steps beyond what the contractor has done to make a project site safe. After all, a homeowner usually lacks the knowledge and skill of a licensed contractor. On the other hand, a homeowner may be liable for actions taken independently of the contractor. For example, a homeowner who removes a safety warning sign may be responsible for injuries that result.

Nevada’s Residential Recovery Fund offers a source of recovery for homeowners

Licensed contractors are required to pay into the state’s Residential Recovery Fund. A homeowner who suffers damages resulting from an act or omission of a residential contractor can apply to the fund to recover up to $35,000. The amount of a homeowner’s recovery from the fund will vary depending on whether the homeowner has also recovered compensation from other sources, such as a lawsuit, settlement, or the contractor’s insurance. Making a claim to the fund also requires the homeowner to allow the Nevada State Contractors Board to pursue a claim against the contractor in lieu of the homeowner (so-called subrogation of rights). NRS 624.510.

We are here for the Las Vegas community

GGRM has represented personal injury plaintiffs in the Las Vegas area for over 45 years. If you have been injured as a consequence of a contractor’s actions, or you are a homeowner facing litigation, we can help you sort through your legal options. For a free attorney consultation, call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you through our contacts page.

Can Venues Be Sued For Spreading Communicable Diseases?

Every now and then we hear about a business like a hotel or cruise ship getting quarantined for the presence of a serious pathogen. Some infectious diseases, like hepatitis A or Legionnaires’ disease, can linger in an environment that’s not kept clean and dry. The consequences for someone who contracts such a disease can be devastating, even fatal. When a patron of a business comes down with a serious illness that can be traced to the business itself, a lawsuit may follow.

Premises liability and communicable disease

Like other types of personal injury lawsuits, a civil case for damages arising from a disease will be based on the theory of negligence. To prevail in a negligence suit, the injured plaintiff must show:

  • The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.
  • The defendant breached that duty of care.
  • The defendant’s breach was the legal cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
  • The plaintiff’s injuries resulted in damages, like medical bills and lost earnings.

In Nevada the owner or operator of a property has a legal duty to take reasonable care to ensure that visitors on the property are not injured by dangerous conditions on the premises. Foster v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 128 Nev. 773, 777 (2012). A business that invites the public onto its property is expected to take extra steps to ensure that its facilities are safe for use. Doud v. Las Vegas Hilton Corp., 109 Nev. 1096 (1993). A business is expected to correct problems that it knows about, or should know about. A business is also responsible for problems created by the actions, or inactions, of its employees. Sprague v. Lucky Stores, 109 Nev. 247, 250 (1993).

The foreseeability of disease

One challenge in a case involving disease is that the source of the disease probably was invisible. This differentiates disease from ordinary premises liability cases arising from things like improperly maintained stairways. Unlike a pool of spilled olive oil on a supermarket floor, bacteria on the rim of a spa or a virus lurking in water pipes isn’t easy to spot. This can make the element of actual or constructive notice more difficult to prove in the case of disease.

Instead, a plaintiff likely will argue that the presence of disease was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligence. Hammerstein v. Jean Dev. West, 111 Nev. 1471, 1477 (1995). In other words, a venue that fails to take reasonable steps to clean areas where bacteria can foreseeably thrive arguably has acted negligently. A gym needs to routinely disinfect its shower areas. A hotel needs to keep its pool and spa areas properly treated.

GGRM understands premises liability

For over 45 years, the experienced personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Greenman Goldberg Raby Martinez have given personalized, caring advice to clients in the Las Vegas area. If you are recovering from a disease that you think was caused by a venue’s negligence, an attorney can help you review your options. For a free attorney consultation call us today at 702-388-4476, or ask us to call you by leaving a note on our contact page.