What to do if I am a small business owner but last week an invitee of my business slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot and now she wants to recover medical costs?

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What to do if I am a small business owner but last week an invitee of my business slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot and now she wants to recover medical costs?

The landlord says I am liable because she was an invitee of my business. And the lease I am liable for anyone that I invite to the office except if the accident is caused by the landlords willful negligence. There is no clause in the contract saying that I am responsible for the snow removal in the parking lot. There are also 6 other businesses in th plaza so the parking lot is a “common” area. Who is at fault? I am going into a mediation tommorrow and and I would like to know what to do.

Asked on January 24, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your best defense to the claim against you is that the invitee was injured as a result of acts of god (ice) where you as the tenant had no legal duty to remove the ice in the parking lot. Likewise an argument could be made that the invitee was also negligent as to the injuries he or she sustained.

Finally the parking lot is a common area for all tenants and as such it is the landlord's duty to make sure it is in safe condition, not yours since you do not rent the parking lot as part of your business.


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