The duty owed by a landowner to the person injured on his premises is dependent upon the status of the injured party in relation to the land.  An individual can be a trespasser, licensee or an invitee.  A premises owner owes the highest duty to an invitee.  An invitee in the normal sense is a person who enters land for a purpose connected with the business dealings with the owner or the possessor of the land.  In most instances this is a customer.  A licensee is a person who enters land with the landowner consent or without a business purpose.  Finally, a trespasser is an individual who enters another person’s land without consent and without a business purpose.

A landowner owes an invitee the duty to keep his premises in a reasonably safe condition and, if the premises are unsafe, to warn the invitee of the defects and dangers that are known to the landowner that are unknown or hidden to the invitee.  Open and obvious dangers do not fall within this category.  A landowner owes a licensee a duty to abstain from willfully or wantonly injuring the licensee and to avoid negligently injuring the licensee after the landowner discovers a danger to the licensee.  A landowner only owes a duty to a trespasser to refrain from causing wanton or intentional injury to the trespasser including by setting a trap or pitfall.

In Alabama a businessman is not the insurer of his client’s safety.  As long as the business owner takes reasonable steps to timely discover dangers to his customers and to remedy dangerous situations once they are brought to his attention, the law will usually protect a business owner.  However, whether there is evidence that the business owner failed to take actions to timely discover dangerous conditions or allowed dangerous conditions to remain without fixing them, thus allowing the finder fact to infer constructive notice, liability could result.