“Men fall from cliff playing Pokémon Go.” Yes, that’s a real news headline, and it highlights an important issue affecting Pokémon Go players and other people throughout the country. Even though we live in an increasingly connected society where augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go are prevalent, real-world dangers remain.
While we’ve previously addressed this in the context of distracted driving accidents and injuries to pedestrians, in this post we’re turning our attention to dangerous property.
Property Owners Still Have A Responsibility To Others
As you read the headline we reprinted above, it is easy to think “Wow, those men really should have been paying attention to where they were going.” But would you think differently if you found out that they fell off a cliff that should have had a guardrail installed, but no guardrail was present?
While, to the best of our knowledge, that is not the situation in this case, it raises an important point. Even if Pokémon Go players – or anyone, for that matter – are not paying close enough attention, property owners are still responsible for keeping their property free of unreasonable danger or unmarked hazards.
When property owners fail to provide adequate warning or safeguards, they may face legal action via a legal claim (typically called a premises liability claim).
It is still early in the lifespan of the Pokémon Go app, but if things continue at their current pace, it seems all but certain that we will hear about more injuries, and some of those will likely be caused by dangerous property conditions.