Ordinarily, a person who hires an independent contractor is not liable for injuries suffered by the contractor’s employees on the job.  Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689.  In Kinsman v. Unocal Corp. (2005) 37 Cal.4th 659, the court held that a landowner who hires an independent contractor can be held liable for injuries to workers caused by latent hazardous conditions of the property of which the landowner knew or should have been aware but didn’t tell the contractor.  This decision holds that the Kinsman exception does not apply to injuries caused by open and obvious defects even if the independent contractor cannot avoid the danger by taking reasonable safety precautions.  Here, the obvious hazard of the unprotected ledge of the roof caused plaintiff’s fall and injuries. Under Privette, the landowner is not liable for those injuries even if there was nothing the contractor could do to avoid the known hazard.