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Whether or not a guest has a right to expect that his host will remedy dangerous conditions on his account, the host does have a duty to warn of a dangerous condition so the guest can take special precautions, like the host would, when they come in contact with it.
Plaintiff filed a personal injury action for hand injuries suffered while he was a guest at the home of defendant. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to warn him that her bathroom fixtures were cracked and dangerous. The trial court granted summary judgment for defendant, following the rule that a licensee or social guest was obliged to take the premises as he or she found them, and the possessor of the premises owed a duty only to refrain from wanton or willful injury. The appellate court reversed the summary judgment, holding that an increased regard for human safety justified a retreat from the trial court's position.
Was defendant’s injury the proximate cause of plaintiff's negligence?
A social guest such as plaintiff was entitled to a warning of a dangerous condition so that he, like the host, would be in a position to take special precautions when he came into contact with it. An increasing regard for human safety has led to a retreat from the general rule for premises liability, and an exception to the general rule limiting liability has been made as to active operations where an obligation to exercise reasonable care for the protection of the licensee has been imposed on the occupier of land. In an apparent attempt to avoid the general rule limiting liability, courts have broadly defined active operations, sometimes giving the term a strained construction in cases involving dangers known to the occupier.