Property owners and managers are required to keep their property and premises free of dangerous conditions to prevent possible harm to customers, tenants and other users. Owners and managers of such premises may be liable for negligence under a premises liability claim. If the courts find that the defendant consciously ignored perils involved, and intentionally fail to remedy defective condition, the defendant may also be liable for punitive damages as in the case Nolin v. National Convenience Stores, Inc. (1979):
“Defendant’s established inattention to the danger showed a complete lack of concern regarding the harmful potential–the probability and likelihood of injury.”
The court’s award for punitive damages was based on the California Civil Code which states:
Civil Code § 3294
“(a) In an action for the breach of an obligation not arising from contract, where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, the plaintiff, in addition to the actual damages, may recover damages for the sake of example and by way of punishing the defendant.”
It is best to work with a lawyer who is an expert in personal injury law to understand more about cases involving premises liability claims.