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Landowner’s Duty: Difference between a Trespasser and a Licensee

March 19, 2019 Posted in Articles Tagged in Personal Injury

If the landowner is arguing that the injured individual was a Trespasser or a Licensee, in Pennsylvania, the duty owed by the Landowner to an injured individual is much different. It is often difficult to tell the difference between the two statuses. By way of review a Licensee is a person who is “privileged to enter or remain on the land only by virtue of the possessor’s consent.” A trespasser is “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.”

Pennsylvania Courts have held that generally, whether an individual is a trespasser or licensee is one of fact for the jury to decide. The distinction comes into play in the Notes of Civil Jury Charge 18.00 which sets forth “one who is permitted to enter a particular part of the land for a particular time or for a particular purpose becomes a trespasser if he or she enters another part of the land or remains upon the land after that time has expired or for an unreasonable time after the purpose of the visit is accomplished.”  Now this again would be a question for the jury to decide, but the main inquiry into seeing if a Licensee turns into a trespasser has to do with the reason they are on the land and if they exceed their particular reason/purpose.  

Whether it be a slip and fall, trip and fall or some other type of injury occurring on a property, if you have questions about whether you are liable for an injury occurring on your property or have questions regarding an injury occurring on a property please contact a Bethlehem Injury Lawyer at The Law Offices of Edward J. McKarski for a free consolation.

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