Is there a statute of limitations for premises liability?

Apparently, no one will be held responsible in a case of premises liability. The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that neither the contractor nor the hotel owners will be held responsible for a defective handicap accessible shower bench that reportedly broke and injured a paralyzed hotel guest. The lawsuit contends the contractor installed it incorrectly and did not have the right sheetrock and stays to keep the bench in place.

Apparently, the statute of limitations to sue the contractor in Tennessee is four years and the case does not meet that requirement. It must be brought before the court four years from the time the certificate of occupancy is issued.

The court ruled that the hotel owner isn't liable because he had no actual or constructive notice of the defect. The bench manufacturer wasn't sued, perhaps because the installation instructions were not followed. If they had been, the bench would not have fallen and injured the man.

The cour learned that the guest viewed the bench and saw that the supporting brackets were pulled away from their stays in the wall about an eighth of an inch before he sat down on it. He requested another room, but there were none available to accommodate him.

The maintenance man at the hotel tightened the brackets and said that it didn't move at all. The guest said that he pushed on the bench and it appeared to be solid and strong enough to hold his weight.

Hotel guests should have the general expectation that everything had been done right and that a bench will hold their weight and not collapse.If you suffer an injury that you believe could have been prevented by the property owner, it's essential to find out the statute of limitations so that you can take legal action within the appropriate timeframe.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Is No One Legally Liable for a Defectively Installed Handicap Accessible Shower Bench?," Brad Reid, accessed Sep. 10, 2015

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