We have previously discussed a number of issues surrounding premises liability. For example, in the context of snow and ice, classifications of individuals on your property, and doctrines like attractive nuisance. We are now going to dive into some evidentiary issues that may arise in your claim, specifically in the context of surveillance video in a commercial setting.
As the technology becomes cheaper and more readily available, more and more commercial property owners are investing in video surveillance systems. This is for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, it helps with loss prevention (stealing). But, it also is a way for property owners or renters to have an eye in the sky to be able to record certain events. This includes many injuries. This is why we always suggest you assume that whenever you are in a commercial property, you are being watched.
As you can imagine, the proliferation of surveillance cameras has significantly impacted premise liability law. More cameras means more evidence in many claims. Cameras are able to see someone when they fall. They also are able to create a timeline as to a person’s movements, or even look to see what caused the hazard that the person tripped on. As surveillance video evidence becomes the norm, so too do a host of related legal issues. Specially, issues of preservations of evidence including what is known as “spoliation.”