Friday, December 28, 2007

Death: A Strong Defense

The Widget:

Court: Appeals Court
Judge: Grasso
Subject: Premises liability
Tone: Ipse dixit
Importance: 4.0

So it turns out that a failsafe way to avoid liability for a dangerous condition on your property is to die before it injures someone. That’s the Appeals Court’s holding in Sullivan v. Rich, Mass. App. Ct. No. 07-P-109.

The plaintiff fell into a hole and injured himself. “The hole, which was covered with a piece of wood and topped with dirt and leaves, was indistinguishable from the surrounding area. It contained a buried fifty-five gallon drum.” With that in mind, a fitting New Year’s resolution might be to watch your step. Or is that too callous? Perhaps the better resolution is do a better job burying stuff in your yard. Even better than that: just don't bury stuff in your yard to begin with.

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