Premises liability is a special form of negligence that holds landowners responsible for injuries to others on their property. Generally, only landowners are responsible for what happens on their property, but if they authorize someone to act in their absence – such as a property manager or vendor – then that individual can also be held liable for negligence.
Colorado, like other states, has rules regarding premises liability and has its own negligence statutes that have grown and changed throughout the years. Authorized individuals, however, are unique to the Premises Liability Act (PLA), which was created in 1986. The legislators took it upon themselves to wave a broad wand over the definitions included in the text.
While other aspects of the premises liability statute are comparable to the rest of the country, things get dicey when it comes to “authorized individuals” such as property agents. The PLA provides that property owners are potentially liable for injuries that occur on their land. This sounds normal upon first hearing it, and you are almost lulled into a false sense of security.
But then things become more interesting when we see the text come to life. You’re just a property manager, minding your own business, when the most monstrous of storms comes to life right above the ski lodge. High winds and snow destroy the ski courses and cause several skiers to hit trees head-on, resulting in several injuries.
You breathe a sigh of relief when you remember you’re just the property manager. They should go talk to your boss, that guy who wears the suit.
In Colorado, an authorized agent is legally responsible for the condition of real property or for the activities conducted on real property. For all intents and purposes, a property manager is an authorized agent. So, you’d better get your boots on and go help those skiers.
This broad reach doesn’t end with property managers. Even vendors can fall under the PLA’s arm. A snow removal vendor who doesn’t remove a sheet of ice from a parking lot would be liable under this statute, for example.
A Colorado personal injury attorney would be the way to go if you need to file a premises liability claim, since they can easily become very complicated. If you’ve been in a slip and fall or some other premises liability case, consider looking through the Enjuris Colorado law firm directory!
Have you ever had to deal with a premises liability claim? Tell us in the comments!