Copyright (c) 1995 Creighton University School of Law
Creighton Law Review
CASENOTE: PREMISES LIABILITY: NO FORESEEABILITY, NO DUTY, NO-FRILLS! THE NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT IMPOSES A DUTY IN ERICHSEN V. NO-FRILLS SUPERMARKETS OF OMAHA,INC.
29 Creighton L. Rev. 439
Heidi A. Guttau-Fox - '97
For almost fifty years, Nebraska law has required that a business owner use reasonable care to warn or protect business invitees from reasonably foreseeable criminal acts. 1 The Nebraska Supreme Court has often addressed the issue of whether a criminal act is reasonably foreseeable so as to impose a duty on a business owner. 2
In the case of Erichsen v. No-Frills Supermarkets of Omaha, Inc., 3 the Nebraska Supreme Court again addressed the issue of a business owner's duty to a business invitee. 4 In Erichsen, the court imposed a duty on business owners to use reasonable care to keep their premises safe for business invitees from the criminal acts of third parties. 5
This Note will first discuss the decision of the Nebraska Supreme Court in Erichsen. 6 This Note next examines the history of decisions from Nebraska and other jurisdictions involving the imposition of a duty upon a business owner in regard to third party criminal acts. 7 This Note will then analyze the reasoning of the court in Erichsen in terms of the court's interpretation of foreseeability, known and obvi- ous dangers, and policy factors. 8 This Note concludes that, based upon past precedent, the Nebraska Supreme Court erred both in holding that No-Frills owed a duty to protect Erichsen from harm and in failing to define the duty owed to business invitees. 9
FACTS & HOLDING
On July 28, 1991, Janis L. Erichsen went shopping at No-Frills Supermarket. ...
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