Businesses in cities install hazards, hard spikes or sharp bench dividers, to ward homeless from using flat surfaces near the business as a dry place to sleep. If a homeless person were to use this area to sleep anyway, out of necessity to keep dry, and were injured upon the hazards, would the business owner be liable for their harm?

  • What makes this case any different to when somebody intentionally harms themselves using someone else's property in general? Consider edge case when somebody runs against a wall and crushes their skull — would the wall owner be responsible? – Greendrake May 13 at 23:26
  • @Greendrake, not sure it was clear in OP’s post where the injury took place at, but you are assuming it takes place on the businesses’ property. – A.fm. May 14 at 4:16
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    @Greendrake, a couple more things. Your analogy is off because, absent any more detail, there is no reason to assume the homeless person is intentionally harming him or herself. Also, your second sentence lacks any basis here. A wall is a wall - common things we all have. However, if you intentionally put harmful things on your property in anticipation of a trespasser trespassing and "using" (or walking on, sitting on, etc) the thing and hurting him or herself, it won't matter that the person was trespassing, the owner who put up the dangerous items will be liable. – A.fm. May 14 at 5:38
  • @A.fm. I guess spikes should be the same as say barbed wire for the purpose of establishing liability. Would a barbed wire be "intentionally put harmful thing"? – Greendrake May 14 at 5:59

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