Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bennett v. Stanley case brief

Bennett v. Stanley case brief summary
748 N.E.2d 41 (2001)

Plaintiff, husband and father, filed a wrongful death and personal injury action against defendants, homeowners, in his capacity as administrator of his wife and son's estates and as custodial parent. The trial court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment, and father appealed. The Court of Appeals for Washington County (Ohio) affirmed the trial court's judgment, and the state supreme court granted leave to appeal.

Homeowners purchased a home with a swimming pool. The pool was enclosed by fencing and a brick wall, and was covered by a tarp. Homeowners removed the tarp and fencing on two sides of the pool, and although they drained the pool, they allowed rainwater to collect in the pool to a depth of over six feet. The pool became a pond. It contained no ladders, the sides were slick with algae, and frogs and tadpoles lived in the pool. Plaintiff's family rented the house next to homeowners several months after homeowners purchased their house. Plaintiff was married and the father or stepfather of three young children. Homeowners were aware that children lived next door and evidence showed that there was some fencing between the properties, but with an eight-foot gap. In March 1997, plaintiff arrived home to find his stepson and wife unconscious in homeowners' pool. Both later died.

The state supreme court used this case to adopt the attractive nuisance doctrine as the law of Ohio and also held that an adult who attempted to rescue a child from an attractive nuisance assumed the status of the child and was owed a duty of ordinary care by a property owner.


The state supreme court reversed the intermediate appeals court's judgment and remanded the case to the trial court.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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