People get together on St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, especially at one another’s houses. But sometimes when there are parties people also get injured. And if that happens, you might be liable for the guest’s injury.
What’s that all about? What would St. Patrick say about that?
Well actually, we wouldn’t want to hazard a guess about what the venerable St. Patrick would say. However, as it often does, the law has plenty to say about premises liability.
The legal theory of “premises liability” holds owners and occupiers of property legally responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on that property. The kinds of incidents that give rise to premises liability claims can range from a slip and fall, to an injury suffered on a amusement park ride.
There are generally four different labels that may apply to someone that comes on your property: invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser.
An invitee is someone who is invited onto the property of another, such as a customer in a store. This invitation usually implies that the property owner/possessor has taken reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises.
A licensee enters property for his own purpose, or as a social guest, and is present at the consent of the owner.
Finally, a trespasser enters without any right whatsoever to do so. In the case of licensees and trespassers, there is no implied promise that reasonable care has been made to assure the safety of the property.
But with trespassers you have to be careful. If the owner knows that it is likely trespassers will enter the property, he or she may be charged with a duty to give reasonable warning to prevent injury. So consider using a sign, if for example, your house as a massive abyss outside of it.
So do your best to make your homes safe during St. Patrick’s Day Boston. Keep an eye on the alcohol consumption and may the luck of the Irish be with you!