In California, as in other states, the owner or operator of commercial property has a duty to ensure that the premises are maintained in such a way as to minimize the risk of injury to persons legally on the property. There’s an obligation to take reasonable measures to monitor the premises, so that potentially dangerous conditions can be discovered and addressed. The owner must fix the problem, provide reasonable notice of the potential danger, or prevent visitors from using that part of the premises that poses the risk.
In a personal injury lawsuit involving a slip and fall, where the injured party alleges negligence, it’s generally the responsibility of the injured person (the plaintiff) to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent. Accordingly, the plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to maintain the premises and failed to do so.
The “mode of operation” rule is not currently the law in California, however. A plaintiff still carries the burden to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care, that the breach caused an accident, and that the plaintiff suffered losses because of the accident.
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