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Legal Memorandum: Store Owner's Duty of Care

Issue: What is the duty of care owned by a store owner to its customer to keep safe conditions?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Duty of care; Store owner; To keep safe conditions
Jurisdiction: Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Restatement (Second) of Torts § 343, cmt. b (1965)
Date: 12/01/2008

In such cases, “the proprietor of a store owes a duty of care to its customers to exercise reasonable care to keep the store in a reasonably safe condition for the contemplated uses thereof.”  Bright v. United Corp., No. 2007/80, 2008 WL 2971769, at *3 (V.I. July 22, 2008). 

Significantly, this duty includes a duty to invitees to inspect for latent defects.  In particular, the possessor of a store owes a duty to its invitees to use reasonable care to make the premises safe, specifically including a duty to conduct a reasonable “inspection to discover the actual condition and any latent defects, followed by such repair, safeguards, or warning as may be reasonably necessary for his protection under the circumstances.”  Restatement (Second) of Torts § 343, cmt. b (1965) (emphasis added).

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