Do homeowners who host holiday parties have legal duties to protect guests from injuries? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Absolutely, though the duty is relieved when party guests intentionally or recklessly put themselves in harm’s way.

A centuries-old legal principle called premises liability places legal duties on homeowners and apartment owner to protect the health and lives of guests. This duty extends to preventing falls, electric shocks, drownings, dog bites, and attacks by other guests.

A holiday party host would meet this duty by, for example, keeping their home in good repair, covering or supervising a pool, and controlling animals. It is not always clear, however, whether a host has done enough in any of those areas, especially when the issue may be a failure to do proper maintenance. Speaking with a Virginia personal injury attorney who handles what are often called slip and fall cases can clarify whether the legal standards for premises liability apply.




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