Mann v. Northgate Investors, LLC

Plaintiff was visiting a friend, who was a tenant at an apartment building owned by Defendant, when Plaintiff suffered an injury while descending the common area stairs. Plaintiff sued Defendant, alleging that Defendant had negligently failed to maintain adequate lighting on the premises. The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendant, holding (1) since Plaintiff was not a tenant but a business invitee, Defendant only owed her a duty of ordinary care; and (2) the open-and-obvious doctrine applied in this case to negate the duty of ordinary care. The court of appeals reversed, holding that tenants’ guests are entitled to the protections of Ohio Rev. Code 5321.04, that a landlord’s violation of section 5321.04 constitutes negligence per se, and that the open-and-obvious-danger doctrine does not apply when the landlord is negligent per se. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a landlord owes the statutory duty under section 5321.04 to keep all common areas of the premises in a safe condition to a tenant’s guest properly on the premises; and (2) a breach of that duty constitutes negligence per se and obviates the open-and-obvious-danger doctrine. View "Mann v. Northgate Investors, LLC" on Justia Law