A couple of days ago a post that Glenn Gabe and I wrote was posted over at Search Engine Journal. That post, How Texting and Driving Could Destroy Your Business [With Legal Analysis], looked into the impacts on a business from its employees texting while driving. In case you did not know in NJ ( and several other states) using your cellphone without a hands free system is against the law. That means no texting; no instant messaging; no browsing the web; sending and reading emails; or downloading an app for that. Please go over to How Texting and Driving Could Destroy Your Business [With Legal Analysis] and read the article.
Archive for the ‘Liability’ Category
The other day, I was walking by a downtown store when I noticed a huge sheet of ice covering several feet of the sidewalk. Every winter this part of the sidewalk is covered in ice. I see this and the lawyer in me cringes.
I cringe because the ice is caused by things beyond the tenant’s control but if someone where to slip the tenant would be liable for any injuries. Back in 1981 the N.J. Supreme Court decided that because commercial business owners derived a benefit from the sidewalks in front and abutting their businesses, the business owner should have a corresponding duty to maintain those very same sidewalks. If someone got hurt because the sidewalks were not maintained the business owner and the property owner would be liable for those injuries.
In situations where a business owner is renting space, the lease should spell out who is liable for maintaining, cleaning, and removing snow and ice. It will either be the landlord or the tenant. Either party will either undertake the maintenance themselves or contract out to snow removal company the upkeep of the sidewalk. If you are a tenant, make sure what your responsibilities are regarding the sidewalk by reviewing the lease.
Even if the lease says it is the landlord’s responsibility you the tenant are still liable. You may be able to get indemnification/reimbursement from the landlord if you are sued, but it is better to try to avoid that lawsuit in the first place. Also, you should also make sure you have sufficient insurance to cover you in the event there is an accident not only in amount but in coverage.