Property Owners Can’t Delegate Certain Duties to Third Parties
On and in many properties, there are many companies that may be responsible for some, or all, of the company’s operations. In a typical store, especially a larger one, you may have warehousing companies, third parties that come into the store to sell their own goods, security companies, or cleaning and maintenance companies.
So when you are injured on your property, and you sue the property owners or the store, it may not surprise you to learn that they have a typical reaction: if they can, they point the finger at the third party company—the security company or the maintenance company, and try to say that they, and not the store itself, is the negligent party that should compensate you for your injuries.
Why Blame a Smaller Company?
Why point the finger at other, often smaller contractors?
One answer is obvious: if the contractor or third-party company is liable, the store itself is not (or isn’t to the same extent). Just like a child who points the finger at someone else, pointing the finger at another company is the store’s way of saying “blame someone else.”
But dragging in another company also has another advantage to the store you are suing: it makes your case more complex and more difficult. There is now another defendant in the case, more lawyers, and the complexity and time of the case increases.
And, if that smaller, third-party company doesn’t have the money to satisfy a judgment, or has no insurance, it has the tendency to deter accident victims from pursuing claims. What if the jury finds that small, unable-to-pay company, 90% liable for your injuries? You may face the possibility of not being able to actually recover 90% of your damages.
Non-Delegable Duties: No Finger Pointing
The good news is that pointing the finger at another company is usually not allowed in Nevada, and in other states because of what is known as a non-delegable duty.
The law says that there are certain things that property owners do that they cannot just delegate to others. Yes, they can hire other companies to do whatever they want, but when those other companies are liable or negligent, the store or company hiring them can’t blame those companies. The store itself must take responsibility for the errors or omissions of its contractors.
Stores and property owners are liable for things like negligent security, things falling from shelves, fixing damaged property, or keeping walkways clear and safe—even if they rely on outside companies to do these kinds of things for them. Store owners cannot delegate compliance with any applicable state or federal laws.
The same goes for any activities that are inherently dangerous, such as working with construction equipment, explosives, machinery, or chemical or hazardous activities.
Don’t let property owners try to blame someone else. We can help you determine who is liable if you are injured on someone else’s property. Contact the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at Cameron Law today at 702-745-4545.