Contractor Liability: Goose Creek Personal Injury Lawyer. Oftentimes a business will allow another vendor to set up shop in its store in order to sell their items and increase traffic to the host store. A typical example you might see is a blender demonstrator or food vendor in a supermarket. Sometimes accidents happen at the booths of these subcontractors and a customer, or invitee, is injured. When is the contractor liable and when does liability fall squarely on the subcontractor for these injuries?
South Carolina law generally holds that there is a non-delegable duty to keep premises safe for invitees. The South Carolina Supreme Court has held that “[a] person who delegates to an independent contractor an absolute duty owed to another person remains liable for the negligence of the independent contractor just as if the independent contractor were an employee.” Rock Hill Telephone Co., Inc. v. Globe Communications, Inc., 363 S.C. 385, 390-391, 611 S.E.2d 235, 238 (2005) (citing Durkin v. Hansen, 313 S.C. 343, 347, 437 S.E.2d 550, 552-53 (Ct.App. 1993) (citing 57 C.J.S. Master and Servant, § 591 (1948). The ability to delegate is largely dependent on the nature of the activity. The more risky or dangerous the activity the less likely a contractor can delegate to the subcontractor. The contractor who assigns a duty that is nondelagable is vicariously liable for negligent acts of the independent contractor. Simmons v. Tuomey Reg’l Med.Ctr., 330 S.C. 115. 123, 498 S.E.2d 408, 412 (Ct. App. 1998); see also F. Patrick Hubbard & Robert L. Felix, The South Carolina Law of Torts 654 (1997). When making repairs to a property, the owner of the premises is ultimately liable for any repairs made by a subcontractor. Duane v. Presley Constr. Co. Inc., 270 S.C. 682, 244 S.E.2d 509 (1978).
Ultimately, there are certain nondelegable duties a property owner has when inviting guests to his or her premises. For these duties a subcontractor may be held liable as well, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the contractor to ensure that the property is safe.
If you or somebody you know has been injured on another persons’ property please contact one of our personal injury lawyers at Miller|Conway at +843.764.3334. We are Charleston personal injury lawyers located in Goose Creek handling personal injury cases throughout the Greater South Carolina region, including car accidents in Summerville, North Charleston and Downtown and we are here for you when you need us.
You may also follow Miller|Conway on twitter, facebook and the firm’s website. Miller|Conway, Goose Creek Car Accident Lawyers, helping individuals who have been injured in an accident. Personal injury lawyers in the Charleston Area, Goose Creek and Summerville.