O'Connor, O'Connor, Bresee & First, P.C.
SERVING ALL OF NEW YORK AND VERMONT
877-886-4029 Toll Free
518-465-0400 New York
802-440-1541 Vermont

A fight breaks out in a Denny's. Is the restaurant liable?

The International Franchise Association released a report recently that got us to thinking about premises liability. We won't retrace the thought, but suffice it to say that the IFA's research shows that by the end of 2013 franchise businesses will have added jobs and units -- that is, new stores or restaurants -- at a faster rate than the general economy.

For many of these new business owners, the new restaurant or oil change shop will be their first business, and that means they need to become familiar fast with their legal duties to everyone who comes through their doors. They need to understand, drum roll please, premises liability -- just as a Denny's in Western New York did.

Before we discuss the case, though, we need to review some basic information about liability.

Who's who on the business' premises

The law recognizes three categories of individuals who visit a business: guests, invitees and trespassers. The guest is the person who has received a special, personal invitation to enter the business. If you throw a grand opening gala for your new Albany eatery, you might invite Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He would be a "guest" under the law.

Regular patrons and service people are "invitees." These are the individuals one would reasonably expect to come onto the property. "Trespassers," then, are the others, from the unlawful intruders to the guy who stops in to ask for change for the parking meter.

The difference is important, because the business owner has a higher duty of care to guests, a reasonable duty of care to invitees and a low or no duty of care to trespassers.

What are we talking about when we say "duty of care?" We'll discuss that in our next post.

Source: Huffington Post, "When Is a Business Liable for Outsider Violence on Its Premises?" Brad Reid, Sept. 13, 2013

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Our Law Offices

Email Us For A Response

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Contact Us for Your Insurance Defense Solutions and Other Legal Needs

CALL TODAY AT

877-886-4029 Toll Free
518-465-0400 New York
802-440-1541 Vermont

NEW YORK OFFICE
20 Corporate Woods Boulevard
Albany, NY 12211

Phone: 518-465-0400
Fax: 518-465-0015
Albany Law Office Map

VERMONT OFFICE
507 Main Street
Bennington, VT 05201

Fax: 518-465-0015
Map & Directions