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New Ohio case challenges premises liability

Businesses should be able to offer customers and passersby a safe environment, where people cannot be injured or harmed by the building or anything inside it. This time-tested tradition, backed up by premises liability law, recently got a legal refresher in the Ohio Supreme Court and a surprising business location.

A person injured in an accident involving a drunk-driving stripper failed to maintain a verdict against the strip club that employed her. Although the club engaged in a practice that often resulted in intoxicated employees, it had no liability because the stripper was not visibly intoxicated.

The legal point in Ohio and more than three-quarters of all U.S. states is the Dram Shop Act, a law that dictates an establishment that has served a visibly intoxicated person is responsible for his or her actions. That can extend to personal injury and damage to property.

The plaintiff was injured when the car carrying her was hit by the stripper, who admitted to alcohol and drug use before driving. The court did not condone the business’ practices that may have led to her intoxication, but failed to find liability based on the Dram Shop Act.

Anyone who has been injured on the premises of a business where the conditions or environment of a location may be liable for financial damages. This may extend to reimbursement for medical expenses and compensation for lost wages during recovery.

Legal representation may be advisable for victims of hazardous commercial property locations. An attorney can help identify the most likely approach to make a victim whole.

Source: Legal NewsLine, “Drunk stripper’s car wreck provides complicated liability issue for Ohio Supreme Court,” Karen Kidd, Sep. 27, 2017

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