Wyatt Montgomery, a lawyer in our Personal Injury and Product Liability Section and based out of our Mobile, Alabama, office, filed a premises liability lawsuit against a vacation rental company, its property management company and a property owner on behalf of a renter seriously injured while he and his family were vacationing at a beach house rental property.
The premises liability lawsuit alleges that the renter was leaning against the railing on the back deck of the beach house when the railing collapsed, causing him to fall to the ground. He sustained severe and permanent injuries because the defendants did not take adequate measures to protect the occupants from well-known and foreseeable risks.
Wyatt brought the lawsuit under Alabama law, which follows common law negligence principles in premises liability cases. Vacation rental companies, property management companies and property owners owe a duty to business invitees to keep their properties in a reasonably safe condition. Because the renter was a business invitee, the defendants owed him a duty to ensure dangerous property conditions would not harm him. Further, the defendants should have warned the occupants that the deck railing needed repairs.
The renter brought negligence and wantonness claims against the defendants because the property was unsafe. The renter also alleged negligent and wanton failure to warn of the dangerous deck condition.
When investigating premises liability claims, lawyers must check who owns and maintains the property. Often, a property owner hires a management company or other third party to maintain the property. The hire can be made contractually or simply by common practice. By ensuring all proper parties are discovered, lawyers can hold all responsible for injury and/or damage accountable. Through comprehensive investigation and discovery, lawyers can also be sure that insurance companies fully compensate clients.