Peculiar-Risk Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

Peculiar risk doctrine refers to a legal principle that an the owner of a property, where construction or repair work is being carried out will be liable for injury caused by the work carried out by the independent contractor, if the owner failed to take precautions against a risk that is peculiar to the contractor's work which the owner should have recognized. It is the owner's duty to recognize the potential risks of the work and take precautions against them. A property owner who undertook obviously dangerous work on his/her property should not escape liability for injuries to others simply by hiring an independent worker to perform the work. The "peculiar risk" doctrine is an exception to the rule that a person who hires an independent contractor is not liable to third parties for injury caused by the contractor’s negligence in performing the work.