Henrioulle, an unemployed widower with two children, received public assistance in the form of a rent subsidy. He entered into an apartment lease agreement with Marin Ventures that provided “INDEMNIFICATION: Owner shall not be liable for any damage or injury to the tenant, or any other person, or to any property, occurring on the premises, or any part thereof, and Tenant agrees to hold Owner harmless for any claims for damages no matter how caused.” Henrioulle fractured his wrist when he tripped over a rock on a common stairway in the apartment building. At the time of the accident, the landlord had been having difficulty keeping the common areas of the apartment building clean. Will the exculpatory clause effectively bar Henrioulle from recovery? Explain.
The exculpatory clause is considered invalid in this case due to the following reasons:
Exculpatory clause is only suitable for a business, which is under legislation, not for housing.
The one who initiates the clause should be involved in providing a significant and beneficial service for the community.
Risk of carelessness of the service provider.
Though there exists an exculpatory agreement between the tenant and the owner, the court has the power to invalidate the agreement because of the above-mentioned reasons.
Individual H is going to win the case since the exculpatory clause is not enforceable. Individual H was affected because of the negligence of the owner of the property.
The owner of the property has failed to maintain the cleanliness of the apartment, which has caused the accident. The accident happened because of the carelessness of the owner; so, the owner is liable for the damages caused. The agreement signed by Individual H meets the norms of invalid exculpatory clause.
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