House Committee Substitute

HCS/SS/SB 608 - This act provides that for the purposes of a public entity having sovereign immunity, the term "public entity" shall include a public employee performing duties within the scope of employment.

This act also modifies provisions regarding the liability of property owners when criminal conduct occurs on the property.

Under current law a land owner is not liable for the death or injury of a trespasser, when the trespasser is substantially impaired by alcohol or illicit controlled substances, unless the land owner acted with negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. This act removes that the property owner may be held liable when he or she acts with negligence.

This act creates the Business Premises Safety Act, which provides that a business only has the duty to guard against criminal or harmful acts occurring on the business's premises when the business knows or has reason to know that such acts are being committed or are reasonably likely to be committed in a particular area of the premises, and there is sufficient time to prevent such injury. When the business doe not have the duty to guard against criminal or harmful acts, then the business cannot be liable for a person's injuries sustained in connection with criminal or harmful acts caused by another or an employee of the business who was lawfully carrying a concealed weapon and caused such injuries by the use of the weapon.

If the business had a duty to guard against criminal or harmful acts, the business can claim the following as affirmative defenses: (1) the business has implemented reasonable security measures; (2) the claimant was a trespasser, attempting to or committing a felony; and (3) the acts occurred while the business was closed.


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