Massachusetts Court Discusses Liability for Harm Suffered on Another Party’s Property

Property owners have a general obligation to ensure that persons who legally enter their buildings are not exposed to hazardous conditions. If they fail to do so and people suffer injury as a result, they can be held accountable for damages in a civil case. However, as stated in a recent ruling delivered in a Massachusetts premises liability case, the duty to safeguard business invitees from harm does not extend to the property’s insurers. If you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, you might be owed damages, and you should contact a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

The Harm Sustained by the Plaintiff

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was a plumber. He fell into a sump hole in a basement that was filled with scorching water while servicing a boiler at a house. The sump was connected to the boiler’s drain valves when it was installed in 2001, allowing water to drain away from the boiler. Following his injury, the plaintiff filed a complaint, naming as defendants the insurance and reinsurance firms that provided coverage for the premises, as well as the adjuster who worked for the insurance company that conducted a boiler check in 2015.

According to reports, the plaintiff claimed that as part of the inspection, the defendants had a duty to detect the open sump’s risks. The defendants moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the defendants’ motion. The plaintiff appealed, but on appeal, the trial court’s decision was upheld.

Insurance Companies’ Liability

The plaintiff had to establish that the adjuster was negligent in order to succeed on his claims, according to the appellate court. To put it another way, he had to establish that the adjuster owed him a duty of reasonable care, that the defendant breached the duty, and that the breach caused him harm. The plaintiff, however, was unable to prove duty and causation.

The appellate court emphasized that defining a duty involves assigning risk by weighing the foreseeability of harm against the burden that would be imposed in light of the circumstances. The legal question of whether or not a party owes a duty of care to another is resolved by looking at current societal norms, policies, and conventions. The plaintiff claimed the defendants owed him a statutory, contractual, and common law responsibility to inspect the pump in the issue at hand. The court disagreed, though, and found that the defendants owed no duty to the plaintiff. As a result, the trial court’s decision was upheld.

Consult a Capable Massachusetts Attorney Regarding Your Injuries  

Many property owners allow dangerous conditions to exist on their premises, resulting in serious injuries. You have the right to seek compensation if you were injured in an accident on someone else’s property, and you should consult an attorney about your options. The capable lawyers of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, can assess the circumstances surrounding your harm and help you to seek the best legal outcome available.  You can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 888-262-6664 to set up a meeting.


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