Personal Injury Lawyer - Proving Your Case. What is Open and Obvious?
A premises owner owes a duty to his invitees only to keep the premises reasonably safe. Williams v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 515 P.2d 223 (Okla. 1973). The invitee assumes all normal and ordinary risks incident to the use of the premises. Wise v. Roger Givens, Inc., 618 P.2d 951 (Okla.App. 1980). The duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition is applicable only to defects or conditions which are in the nature of hidden dangers, traps, snares or pitfalls and the like which are not readily observable by the invitee in the exercise of ordinary care. See McKinney v. Harrington, 855 P.2d 602 (Okla. 1993);
Under Oklahoma law it is not a question of whether some object is open and obvious, but whether the hazard or danger is open and obvious. An “observable” object or condition is not necessarily obvious: “All of the circumstances must be examined to determine whether a particular condition is open and obvious to the plaintiff or not.” Zagal v. Truckstops Corp. of America., 1997 OK 75, 948 P.2d 273, 275 (when customer tripped over large cardboard box near truckstop entrance, reasonable minds could differ as to whether it was a “concealed danger”).