California Supreme Court holds that property owner is not liable for dangerous condition on property resulting from negligence of contractor

2021 case review: Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc.

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While a property owner is as a general rule liable for injuries that occur on its premises, that is not always the case. In this matter, the Supreme Court found a sizeable exception to that general rule. Plaintiff was hired by a contractor to perform work on the defendant’s property. The contractor removed a protective cover from what turned out to be a live circuit. Plaintiff was working in the area, and triggered an arc flash that caused burns to a large portion of his body.

At trial, the jury found that the contractor was at fault, and that the premises owner was not, because the contractor acted negligently in failing to maintain a safe work place, and the property owner neither failed to disclose a hazardous condition, nor did they affirmatively contribute to the injury.