State or local law, torte law, custom law, satey guidelines


Rules telling people how to act come from many sources. Statutory law governs a wide range of conduct—driving an auto-mobile, operating a business, building a home. Non-governmental standards reach just as far. Individuals run their businesses in accordance with the law, but also by observing professional standards and industry customs. A hotel owner might look to state or local law to determine how to fence the hotel pool or whether to have a lifeguard on duty. The owner might also decide what to do by looking to industry customs or non-govern-mental safety guidelines, such as those a private body has issued.2 A failure to comply with any type of safety standard can result in tragedy—a child might drown in a hotel’s unfenced or unguarded pool. And, in any case, the child’s parents are likely to argue that the hotel was negligent in failing to follow the governing standards.