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In the law of torts, an invitee is a person who is invited to land by the possessor of the land as a member of the public or one who is invited to the land for the purpose of business dealings with the possessor of the land. The status of a visitor as an invitee (as opposed to a trespasser or a licensee) defines the legal rights of the visitor if they are injured due to the negligence of the property owner.

The property owner has a duty to make the property safe for the invitee, which includes conducting a reasonable inspection of the premises to uncover hidden dangers. The property owner also has a duty to warn the invitee of hazardous conditions that cannot be fixed. Furthermore, property owners assume a duty to rescue an invitee who falls into peril while visiting the property. If an independent contractor hired by the landowner injures an invitee (intentionally or through negligence), the owner can be held vicariously liable. This represents the broadest duty of care owed to any class of visitors to the property.

An invitee is only an invitee within the scope of permission granted by the landowner. Thus, if an invitee is invited to do business in a store and is injured snooping around in the private storage area, he does not have invitee status in that area.

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Simple English

In tort law, an invitee is a member of the public who has been invited to do business with the owner of a property. For example, if someone owns a store and invites someone else to come into the store to buy something, the person who is invited is an invitee.

In some places (or jurisdictions), tort law asks whether a person is an invitee when it decides what duty the owner of land has to keep that person safe from harm.


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