Monday, February 11, 2019
Premises liability reform bills have been introduced in the Mississippi House and Senate. In Mississippi, if a plaintiff sues for the attack of a third party on defendant's premises, the jury cannot assign a portion of fault to the third-party attacker. These bills would allow such apportionment. The bills would make additional changes:
Most importantly, the bills say a property owner is exempt from a lawsuit unless someone can prove they “affirmatively, with a degree of conscious decision-making, impelled the conduct of said third party.” A woman who sues after being attacked in a dark parking lot without security would have to prove that the business knew about the potential harm and let it happen.
They also exempt property owners from liability even if they knew about the violent nature of the third party, and doesn’t allow a plaintiff to establish that there was an atmosphere of violence at a location unless there was similar violent conduct that resulted in three felony convictions on the property within the three prior years. So a nightclub where the police are called to break up fights but people aren’t charged and convicted of felonies could be exempt, for example, if someone was hurt there later.
The Mississippi Business Journal has the story.