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It's a homeowner's worst nightmare. Someone died at your home.
Demi Moore must be reeling after she received news that a young man died at the pool at her home. Police aren't currently investigating the death as a homicide, but is Demi facing any liability?
Last Sunday morning, Demi Moore's housekeeper made a grisly discovery. A young man, identified as Edenilson Steven Valle, was dead, floating in the deep end of the pool on Demi Moore's Los Angeles property.
According to reports, Moore and her children were not at the property when the young man died. However, someone, possibly Moore's assistant or housekeeper, had been throwing pool parties daily. Valle was a guest at the party. Police believe that the young man may have drunk some alcohol and slipped and fell in the pool. Valle's family members told police that the he did not know how to swim.
While investigations are still ongoing, police have ruled the death an accident.
Demi Moore probably won't face any criminal charges in connection with this death. However, this does not mean that there isn't a possibility she will be sued by Valle's family.
Premise liability means that a property owner is responsible for injuries that certain people suffer while on their property.
Social guests are considered licensees. Property owners owe a duty to licensee to take reasonable steps to protect licensees from known hazards on the property. A swimming pool is definitely a known hazard. Some states require pool owners to put up fences and locks to prevent unsupervised children from falling in and drowning.
Demi Moore may not have been on the property or invited Valle onto her property. However, if her assistant did invite the man, Moore may still be liable for her employee's actions under the principal of vicarious liability.
Employers can be held liable for an employee's negligent actions done in the course of employment. If the employee was acting outside of the scope of employment, then the employer probably won't be held liable.
In this case, did Moore's assistant have permission to host a party? Did Moore know about the parties but did not prohibit them? Did Moore take any steps to protect guests from pool injuries? We can expect the drama surrounding this sad death to continue as more answers are uncovered by the police's investigation.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.