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Premises Liability

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Plaintiff leased greenhouses from defendant.  Defendant did not disclose that the greenhouses contained asbestos and other hazardous substances.  The jury awarded plaintiff damages on theories of negligence and premises liability.  This decision holds that there was substantial evidence to support the verdicts despite the lease's indemnification and limitation of liability clauses.  The indemnification clause did not apply if the landlord… Read More

In a heavy rainstorm, plaintiff slipped and fell in a swiftly moving water current running down a sloped driveway that she tried to cross to access one entrance to her apartment building.  The danger of slipping in the water was open and obvious, so the landlord owed plaintiff no duty of care to warn her of the danger.  Also, there… Read More

The city was not liable for plaintiff's son's death in a shooting in a city park.  There was no dangerous physical condition of the park.  The city had no duty to provide guard services or security cameras, particularly as there had been only two prior killings in the park during the previous 23 years. Read More

Plaintiff wandered drunk into a parking garage owned by defendant and engaged in "horseplay," ending up sitting on a 43 inch tall perimeter wall on an upper story of the garage, from which she fell to the ground, severely injuring herself.  Plaintiff claimed that the defendant had hired a security service to, among other things, find and stop horseplay, as… Read More

A bankruptcy trustee may avoid prospective liability for premises liability on property of the bankrupt estate by abandoning the property to the debtor.  However, the abandonment will not operate retrospectively to absolve the trustee of liability for injuries a visitor to the property suffered before the trustee abandoned the property.  Also, the Barton doctrine (Barton v. Barbour (1881) 104 U.S.… Read More

This decision reverses a summary judgment in favor of the owner and prime contractor and against the plaintiff, who worked for a demolition subcontractor.  Plaintiff was injured by an unknown assailant in a walkway that the owner and prime had left unfenced to allow neighborhood residents access to a bus stop.  The owner and prime exercised actual control over security… Read More

In this case involving a slip-and-fall on a sidewalk on defendant's property, the trial court erred in granting the defendant summary judgment under the trivial defect doctrine.  Defendant failed to meet his initial burden of showing the discontinuity of pavement was a trivial defect, providing only a declaration that stated the conclusion that the separation was less than an inch… Read More

A shopping center landlord was not entitled to immunity from an independent contractor's personal injury suit under Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689 because the landlord did not hire the contractor.  A shopping center tenant did.  Also, the landlord did not delegate to the tenant the landlord's responsibility for maintaining in safe condition the portion of the premises… Read More

During construction of a development in South Lake Tahoe, a worker for a subcontractor slipped on an icy floor, falling from a ladder and injuring himself.  This decision holds that the trial court granted defendant summary judgment based on the Privette doctrine which bars claims by an injured worker for an independent contractor against the hirer of that contractor.  This… Read More

Under Civil Code 846, landowners are generally immune from liability for personal injuries suffered by persons entering their property for recreational use. There is an exception to that immunity if the plaintiff was "expressly invited rather than merely permitted to come upon the premises by the landowner."  This decision holds that despite the statutory wording, immunity is lost if the… Read More

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… Read More

A landowner does not owe invitees a duty to provide adequate onsite parking so that the invitee won't be exposed to risks from traffic on adjoining streets that the invitee must cross to access the landowner's property from available offsite parking.  Both precedent (Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church (2017) 3 Cal.5th 1077) ad the Rowland factors weigh against such a… Read More

Gov. Code 835, which imposes liability on governmental entities for dangerous conditions of their property, does not impose liability for injury that may be caused by conditions of the property to someone who never came in contact with it.  Here, plaintiff claimed that the unsanitary conditions of a downtown police station caused Wong, a policeman, to catch typhus.  Plaintiff, who… Read More

Live Nation held a music festival with 65,000 attendees.  Live Nation knew that illicit drug use by attendees was a significant risk and took some measures to prevent it and to provide hydration, security and medical care.  This decision holds that Live Nation had a special relationship with the festival attendees and owed them a duty of care with respect… Read More

Summary judgment was properly granted to a landlord on proof that experts could not tell what caused the fire that injured plaintiffs, thus negating the element of causation of plaintiffs’ negligence claims. Read More

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