In certain circumstances a landowner has a non-delegable duty to maintain his/her premises in such a way that reasonably prevents injuries to visitors. This situation is most typically found in elevator cases. Florida law requires a building owner to maintain its elevators in a reasonably safe condition. This responsibility cannot be contracted away by hiring maintenance companies to maintain the elevator and then blame them for anything that goes wrong.
If someone is injured on an elevator, the injured party is best served by making a claim against the building owner and the maintenance company. However, this may not seem necessary. The practical result is that if liability is found the building owner will be stuck with 100% responsibility for the plaintiff's damages and can seek contribution from the maintenance company if the maintenance contract allows for same.
On the other hand, there are some instances where the conduct of a building owner’s subcontractor can be apportioned between the building owner and the subcontractor in a negligence setting. This is the case with cleaning companies charged with the responsibility of cleaning floors in a commercial setting. If the cleaning company is negligent, fault can be apportioned between the building owner and the cleaning company. However, absent a statutory provision, the building owner in such a setting does not have a non-delegable duty, and the cleaning company must be sued. Therefore, it is important in a property liability case to hire a personal injury attorney who understands the distinction between delegable will and non-delegable duties.