VI Supreme Court changes premises liability law in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Our newly created VI Supreme Court continues to change existing law and develop its own jurisprudence. In Machado v. Yacht Haven U.S.V.I, LLC, 2014 Westlaw 5282116 (VI Oct. 16, 2014), the court has eliminated the invitee, licensee and trespasser distinctions for persons injured while on another’s land. The only question in determining whether a landowner/possessor owes a duty to a person injured on their land is whether the harm was foreseeable. Furthermore, the Supreme Court held that assumption of risk, with the exception of an explicit waiver or voluntary consent, is no longer a viable defense in the Virgin Islands. Instead, any defense pertaining to the Plaintiff’s fault and conduct must be submitted to the jury as an issue of fact for determining comparative negligence.