Co-author Bill Drabble
Let’s set aside fracking challenges, low prices, and pipeline rejections to discuss the mundane. Should you as an owner of property be concerned about premises liability claims? We’re talking about the office environment and out in the field. What can you do to protect yourself? Gray Reed partner Bill Drabble has the answers.
Here are the highlights:
- There is no federal legislation to protect a business from premises liability. Nor is there any in Texas. I don’t know about Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, North Dakota or other producing states.
- The duty of a property owner is to use “ordinary care” to reduce or eliminate unreasonable risk of harm created by a premises condition about which the owner knew or should have known.
- Visitors will have difficulty showing that the property owner owes a duty to eliminate Covid-19 lingering on surfaces.
- A challenge for a complaining party is that the risk of contracting Covid-19 is open and obvious to everyone. The company is not an insurer of others’ safety.
- Proving causation would be difficult.
- An aggrieved party’s monetary recovery may be reduced by demonstrating that he bore some portion of the responsibility for catching Covid-19.
- Bill has six suggestions for what a premises owner should do to protect itself.
Energy and the Law likes the drum beat. Here, to celebrate the art form, you have:
the Reggae beat, with help from the bass player,
the second line, and
John Bonham, who needed no help.