Thursday, April 30, 2015
Business Owners Could Be Liable for Gun Violence Unless They Post "No Guns Allowed" Signs
Since “Concealed Carry” has become the law of the land, and open carry is allowed in several states, National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) has speculated that property owners would be liable for gun injuries on their property if they did not ban guns. Now, Mayer Brown LLP, a top-ranked international real estate, finance and litigation law firm, has weighed in on the question at our request.
Mayer Brown, named “Firm of the Year” in the Appellate Law category by U.S. News & World Report for the second consecutive year, advises that “a property owner who did not put up the [no guns allowed] signs” would face the argument that it was entirely “foreseeable” that gun violence, injury or death “would occur, since he or she failed to prohibit” guns carried either concealed or openly on his property. Click Link for Illinois Property Owners Research Memorandum
Just as supermarkets would be responsible if someone slipped on a spilled liquid and coffee shops would be responsible if someone burned themselves with a hot liquid, property owners are governed by a “common-law standard of care,” Mayer Brown LLP told us, that requires them to provide a safe environment for employees, visitors and customers. Failure to satisfy the common-law standard of care has resulted in massive financial awards against property owners. Several years ago, airlines, theme parks and health clubs began to be sued under this precept for failing to keep external defibrillators available for customers and employees.
Property owners who fail to put up signs banning guns may well be found guilty of not maintaining a “common-law standard of care” and face significant financial risks, says Mayer Brown. Even defending such a suit would prove extremely costly.