In Pennsylvania, when an individual is injured on a property one of the major determinations into whether or not they will be able to seek recovery is the status of the person at the time they were injured. That individual can either be a Trespasser, an Invitee or a Licensee. A trespasser is defined as “a person who enters or remains upon a land in the possession of another without a privilege to do so created by the possessor’s consent or otherwise.”
A Licensee is a person who is “privileged to enter or remain on the land only by virtue of the possessor’s consent.” Although not limited to only these 3 examples, the Drafters of the Restatements identify three types of licensees: 1) those present upon the land solely for their own purposes; 2) members of the possessor’s household; and 3) social guests.
Invitees are slit up into two categories: 1) a business invitee; and 2) a public invitee. A business invitee is someone that is invited onto the property for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land. A public invitee is an individual who enters unto land for a purpose for which it is held open to the public.
Distinguishing between a Licensee and an Invitee is often a difficult task. The Second Restatement Section 332 offers the following illustration to distinguish between the two: “when a landowner tacitly permits the boys of the town to play ball on his vacant lot they are licensees only; but if he installs playground equipment and posts a sign that the lot is open free to all children … those who enter in response to it are invitees.”
If you have a question about the status of an individual that was injured on a property or have a question regarding an injury occurring on a property please contact the Lawyers at The Law Offices of Edward J. McKarski for a free consultation.