Traditionally there is a higher duty of care imposed upon common carriers with respect to the treatment and safety of their passengers
A Higher Duty of Care Imposed upon Common CarriersTraditionally there is a higher duty of care imposed upon common carriers with respect to the treatment and safety of their passengers. Some courts, therefore, have recognized such a duty even with respect to ordinary slip and fall injuries. A number of these courts, however, have imposed the carrier's special duty of care to injuries which occur only during actual transit, and not with respect to slip and fall injuries sustained in terminal buildings and other areas of the premises after the passenger has been safely discharged from the public conveyance itself, or while the passenger is awaiting permission to board.
even under the exercise of the "utmost" degree of care, a common carrier is still not an insurer for the absolute safety of its passengers.Nevertheless, even under the exercise of the "utmost" degree of care, a common carrier is still not an insurer for the absolute safety of its passengers. Thus, the plaintiff in such cases must still prove that the defendant had either actual or constructive notice of the hazardous condition before liability will ordinarily be imposed.
public transportation facilities are often owned or operated by various governmental entities,Since public transportation facilities are often owned or operated by various governmental entities, some very unique issues are sometimes presented regarding the applicable duty of care. For example, an indemnity agreement between a public air carrier and a municipality responsible for the operation of the terminal facility has been construed not to shift the carrier's high degree of care owed to passengers onto the defendant municipality relative to slip and fall injuries occurring in the terminal building.
In another case an injured airport patron brought an action against a municipal airport authority for injuries sustained when she slipped and fell on a quantity of ice cream that had been spilled onto the floor of defendant's terminal building. Addressing a state statute that waived immunity against municipalities engaged in the performance of proprietary functions, the court construed the operation of the municipal airport for profit as a non-immune proprietary function for which the defendant municipality could be held liable for ordinary negligence.