I went over to my friend’s house who was having a party, and one of their guests dropped something on the floor, which I ended up slipping on and injuring myself. Who’s responsible in that case? Is the homeowner ever responsible?
So, that’s two questions. First, who’s responsible? In a theoretical way, the person who dropped the substance on the floor and failed to clean it up right away would be responsible. So if you could figure out who that was, you could hold them liable. The homeowner might have liability. It depends. The test is, did they have an opportunity to learn of the situation? Did the slippery condition exist for a long enough period of time so that the homeowner knew or should have known, should have discovered it? And did the homeowner upon discovering it have an opportunity to clean it up or guard against it? For example, to tell people, “Hey, there’s some ice cream in front of the refrigerator that’s spilled down. Don’t go there.” You have to show those things. There must be what we call negligence on the part of the homeowner. Either he wasn’t careful in how he inspected or kept track of what was going on his premises, or he wasn’t careful about doing something to fix it or guard against it or warn about it. If you can’t prove those things, you’re not going to be able to show liability and collect from the owner or person who’s renting the premises.