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After 25 years, the Washington Supreme Court clarifies when a business is liable for injuries to customers.

Supreme Court of Washington

Since 1996, there has been a lack of clarity in Washington regarding when businesses are liable for injuries to customers. The Supreme Court was divided over whether business owners are subject to liability for injuries resulting from reasonably foreseeable dangerous conditions on the business premises, or whether the business owner had to have actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition. The difference between the two standards of liability is whether the business owner should anticipate the dangerous condition (reasonable foreseeability) versus whether the business owner has knowledge of the condition (actual or constructive notice). In Johnson v. State, a unanimous Court clarified that businesses are subject to liability for all reasonably foreseeable dangerous conditions. Ahrend Law Firm represented the petitioner advocating for this standard of liability.