Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dykema v. Gus Macker Enterprises, Inc. case brief

Pl. attended Def.’s free basketball tournament as a spectator, thunderstorm struck the area, Pl. ran for shelter, while running was struck by a falling tree limb and paralyzed.
Was Def. under a duty to warn Pl. of the approaching thunderstorm?
[DUTY] In order to assert negligence, a Pl. must establish the existence of a duty owed by the Def. to the Pl.
Duty: “essentially a question of whether the relationship between the actor and the injured person gives rise to any legal obligation on the actor’s part for the benefit of the injured person.”
General Rule: There is no duty to aid or protect another.
[A] Limited exception: A duty may be found if there is a special relationship between Pl. and Def.
-One person entrusts himself to the control and protection of another/consequent loss of control to protect himself.
[I] Did the Pl. entrust himself to the control and protection of the Def., with a consequent loss of control in himself?
-No special relationship existed.
-Pl. and Def. not engaged in a business invitee-invitor relationship at the time of Pl.’s accident.
-Pl not on land where basketball tournament was being held in connection with business dealings of Def.
-No contractual/business relationship.
-Pl did not lose ability to protect self, free to leave at any time, movements not restricted, could see changing weather by looking at sky, able to seek shelter as storm approached.

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