Torts: Negligence: Duty: 6 special duty scenarios: Duty Owed by possessors of land to those who come on the land

*Duty owed by possessors of land to those who come on the land*
  • Possessor is usually the owner |This is highly tested.
  • First, how did the entrant get hurt: (2 ways)
    • Some entrants will get hurt by an activity being conducted on the land by a possessor or by one of the possessor’s employees.
    • By encountering a dangerous condition on the land
  • Second, look at who the entrant is.(4 kinds of entrants)

    • Undiscovered trespasser: comes on to land without permission of possessor.

      • Undiscovered trespasser always loses.It does not matter how he gets hurt.This person is always an unforeseeable victim.

    • Discovered trespasser: includes any trespassers who should be expected or anticipated. Look for past pattern of regular trespass on a section of land, and is likely to continue.
      • With regard to activities, possessors owe the care of a RPP acting under similar circumstances.
      • Conditions: A possessor owes a duty to the trespasser only when the dangerous condition meets a 4 part tests:
        • In order to have a duty, the condition must be an artificial condition. No duty of care for a natural condition.
        • Highly dangerous conditions: duty to protect if the condition can kill or maim.If condition is slightly dangerous, there’s no duty.
        • Concealed condition with respect to the discovered trespasser.D.P. must not be able to see condition.However, Possessor has no duty to protect from an open/obvious condition.
        • But…Possessor had advanced knowledge of dangerous condition

{Duty to protect discovered trespasser against known, made-made, deathtraps on the land.}

    • Licensee: people who come on land with permission for their own purposes and without conferring any economic benefit on the owner.
      • On bar, mostly licensees are social guests.
      • DUTIES owed to licensees:
        • w/ regard to Activities: Care of RPP acting under similar circumstances.
        • w/ regard to Conditions: possessor must protect a licensee from conditions that meet a 2 part test:
          • condition must be concealed from licensee
          • condition must be known in advance by the possessor.

{Duty to protect licensees from all known traps on the land}

    • Invitees: persons who enter premises for commercial premises (store, office) or people who enter land that is thrown open to the public at large.
      • DUTIES owed to invitees:
        • w/ regard to activities: Care of RPP.
        • w/ regard to conditions:possessor owes a duty to protect invitee from conditions that meet a 2 part test
          • Condition must be concealed from the invitee.
          • Condition must be one that possessor either knew about in advance or could have discovered through a reasonable inspection.

{Duty to protect from all reasonably traps on the land}

Land possessor duty footnotes:
à FN1 – Firefighters and police officers never recover for injuries that are an inherent risk of their job. Firefighters and police officers have assumption of the risk.

à FN2 – Child trespasser: entitled to the care of a reasonably prudent person w/ regard to artificial conditions on the land. The more likely it is that kids will trespass, the safer I should make my property. Is there something on land that is appealing to children?

à FN3 – whenever there is a condition issue, and the possessor owes a duty to the entrant w/regard to condition. Possessor can satisfy the duty and avoid liability: (1) occupier can fix the problem to remedy the condition; or (2) give a warning.