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Suing a Public Library Lawyers

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Can I Sue a Public Library?

Yes.  Even though the library is run by the government, most places do not extend governmental immunity to it for acts of negligence and injuries by the library or its employees.  However, governmental immunity usually extends to libraries for policy issues, such as what books the library buys.

When Might the Library be Liable?

You might be able to sue the library if you have been injured while on library property.  For example, if you slip and fall because of an unsafe floor in the library, you may be able to recover damages.  The library might also be liable if one of its employees does harm to you.

What Duties Does a Library Have?

The library has a duty to keep the inside of the library reasonably safe.  It must warn visitors of hidden dangers, inspect and maintain the premises, and assure that furniture and books are arranged in a safe way.  

What Limits on Liability are There?

The library's negligence must cause the injury and not some other unforeseen event.  Also, not every dangerous condition leads to liability, only those that are unreasonable.  If the condition is so obvious that everyone should know to avoid it, then there is no liability as well.  Furthermore, if the defect did not exist long enough for someone to discover it, there is no liability.  Contributory negligence and assumption of risk may also limit recovery.  

Should I Contact a Lawyer if I Have Been Injured at a Library?

If you have been hurt or injured during a visit to a library and want to assess the viability of your claim, the advice of a personal injury lawyer can be extremely helpful.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you investigate your injury and recover damages.  

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 01-18-2013 03:58 PM PST

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