Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chutzpah Award

This is not a legal profession case, but it is worth a mention. The New York Appellate Division, Third Department reversed a trial court order denying summary judgment to a defendant in a negligence case. Seems the plaintiff, a 15 year old, trespassed onto defendant's property and jumped off a 50 foot cliff into a lake. It was alleged that the fence she had snuck through "was maintained in an improper fashion" and there were no warning signs about the danger of jumping off the cliff.

The court held: "Even if the defendant were somehow negligent in maintaining its premises, it has no duty to warn of any dangerous condition respecting a jump from the cliff into the lake, as the danger of jumping off a 50-foot cliff and into a lake is open and obvious and readily ascertainable by the use of one's senses." (Mike Frisch)

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