In Massachusetts, premises liability is a broad category of law that includes everything from liability arising from swimming pools or swimming holes that attract children, to liability for lead paint, liability for inadequate security, liability for window falls and building fires, and liability for slip-and-fall injuries.
One common scenario where we see premises liability occurring is with child trespassers. Oftentimes, something on someone else’s property – such as a swimming pool – will draw children onto the property, inciting them to trespass. Once on the property, the swimming pool or whatever attracted the children onto the property may lead them to danger.
Construction site accidents are another area where children are commonly involved in premises liability cases. The desire to play on construction equipment, explore excavation holes and climb on piles of dirt may wind up with a child being hurt by a danger that was not apparent to him.
Thankfully, Massachusetts’ Child Trespasser Statute (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231 § 31) exists to prevent children from being exposed to such dangers. The Massachusetts Child Trespasser Statute requires property owners or lessees to exercise reasonable care to protect child trespassers on their property from dangerous conditions on their property that might cause substantial bodily injury to a child.
Another common area of premises liability involving children is in lead paint cases. Many lead paint cases in Massachusetts are premised upon Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 111 §§ 190 et seq., also known as the Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Act. From a plaintiff’s perspective, the Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Act is a powerful legal tool because, generally speaking, the plaintiff does not have that a property owner knew about the existence of lead paint on her property and failed to take steps to correct it. It is enough that the lead paint caused lead poisoning in the child.
The protections of the Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Act do not extend to all cases, however. And in cases where the Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Act does not apply, lead paint victims have succeeded by relying on principles of landlord-tenant law and actual negligence.
Of course, not all cases of premises liability involve children. Adult and child alike can be the victims of inadequate security. The dangers of inadequate security are discussed elsewhere on our website [insert hyperlink here]. Adult and child alike can be injured in fires, gas explosions and falls from windows. Adult and child alike can be the victims of a slip-and-fall accident.
If you think that you may have a premises liability case, call us today at (617)973-6434 for a free consultation.
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