“…Michele R. Steigman sought to recover damages after suffering a slip-and-fall accident while she was a guest of Outrigger Enterprisesâ€™ Ohana Surf Hotel….The case went to trial, and a jury found that Outrigger was not negligent…”
â€œ… in Hawaii, the known or obvious danger defense is no longer viable as a complete bar to an injured plaintiffâ€™s claim in the context of premises liability.â€
The Hawaii Supreme Court has ruled the â€œknown or obvious dangerâ€ defense is no longer viable under state law as a complete bar to an injured plaintiffâ€™s premises liability claim. Steigmanâ€™s appeal to the Intermediate Court of Appeals resulted in an affirmation of the trial courtâ€™s final judgment.
Steigmanâ€™s attorneys argued that the ruling goes against a comparative negligence law passed by Hawaiiâ€™s legislature in 1969 and modified several times.
The statue states: â€œContributory negligence shall not bar recovery in any action by any person or the personâ€™s legal representative to recover damages for negligence resulting in death or in injury to person or property, if such negligence was not greater than the negligence of the person or in the case of more than one person, the aggregate negligence of such persons against whom recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person for whose injury, damage or death recovery is made.â€
Therefore the court ruled the traditional â€œknown and obvious danger defenseâ€ conflicts with that statute.
â€œSteigman contends that the traditional known or obvious danger defense conflicts with the Legislatureâ€™s intent behind the comparative negligence statute. We agree,â€ the court stated in its ruling.
For more:Â http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2011/12/27/228806.htm