Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jones v. Three Rivers Management Corp. case brief

Jones v. Three Rivers Management Corp. case brief summary
394 A.2d 546 (Pa. 1978)

SYNOPSIS: Appellant injury victim challenged the order of the Superior Court (Pennsylvania), reversing the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (Pennsylvania), that found appellees, stadium owner and sports franchise, negligent for injuries sustained at a stadium.

OVERVIEW: Appellant injury victim brought an action of trespass in the trial court against appellees, stadium owner and sports franchise, for injuries sustained when she was struck by a ball at the stadium. The trial court's finding of negligence was reversed on the basis that appellant failed to establish a prima facie case.

-On appeal, the court found that, even in a place of amusement, not every risk was reasonably expected.
-The application of the assumption of the risk defense was limited to those injuries incurred as a result of risks any spectator must and would have been held to anticipate.

-The court also found that the "no-duty" rule was improperly applied.
-The court noted that Pennsylvania recognized an exception to the general rule that a lessor not in possession was not liable in trespass to invitees of his lessee.
-Thus, liability could have been imposed on each appellee.
-The judgment of the superior court was reversed, and judgment for appellant was reinstated.

-In cases involving a place of amusement for which admission is charged, an operator of such an establishment is not an insurer of his patrons.
-Rather, he will be liable for injuries to his patrons only where he fails to use reasonable care in the construction, maintenance, and management of the facility, having regard to the character of the exhibitions given and the customary conduct of patrons invited.

OUTCOME: The judgment below was reversed and judgment for appellant injury victim was reinstated because the assumption of the risk defense did not apply and liability was properly imposed on lessors of land leased for purposes involving the admission of the public.

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