Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sikora v. Wenzel case brief

Sakora v. Wenzel case summary
727 N.E. 2d 1277 (Ohio 2000)

-Condominium deck owned by D collapsed during a party held by one of D's tenants.
-P, guest at the party, was injured as a result of the collapse.
-City hired an engineering company which concluded that the deck's collapse resulted from improper construction and design which violated the state's building code.
-A decade earlier, a firm that was developing the property wanted to modify the units to include decks.
-The plans were given to the city at that time but were rejected due to being unsafe.
-No inspection of the decks was made at the time they were built.
-The firm that had the decks built was given a certificate of occupancy, and later, D purchased the property not knowing of any defects.

-Is lack of notice a sufficient excuse in a strict liability proceeding?
-Is the statute in this case a strict liability statute?

-No, when strict liability is imposed, a D will be deemed liable per se, meaning that no defenses or excuses (including lack of notice) are applicable.
-No, the statute was written in a way that does not suggest strict liability.

-The court stated that since D never knew nor should have known of the defect which caused liability under the statute, he should not be liable to P for failing to comply with the statute.
-The question becomes: did the landlord know or should have he known of the defect?

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