Ohio law still requires plaintiff’s counsel to establish the applicable duty. This is achieved by you showing the relationship between the landowner and the plaintiff when the alleged negligence took place. Within the premises-liability context, the usual requirements must be evident – the duty of care owed to the plaintiff, the defendant’s breach of that duty, and the proximate cause of the breach which lead to the injury. A failure on any single element will result in a defeated claim. Shopkeepers, with few exceptions, owe their business invitees a duty of ordinary care in maintaining the premises in a reasonably safe condition. There is the bedrock requirement, as has been true for decades, the duty to warn invitees of latent or hidden dangers.
A through investigation from the start will help you discern if the employees of the defendant were responsible for the hazard which caused the injury. At least one person must have had actual knowledge of the hazard. And there must have been negligence as to whether adequate notice was provided of the hazard’s presence. This invariably gets into difficult time line factors. Did the danger exist for a sufficient length of time to justify the inference that the failure to warn amounted to a failure of ordinary care? Invitees may not reasonably be expected to protect themselves from a risk they could not fully appreciate.