Earlier this month, another state’s supreme court issued a written opinion in a case brought by a parent injured while attending her son’s little league baseball game. The case was brought by the parent against the little league association, claiming that the association was negligent for failing to maintain the field. The court ultimately dismissed the case against the association, based on the court’s determination that the association did not owe the plaintiff a duty to keep the field safe.
Carlson v. Towne of South Kingstown: The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was the mother of a boy who was competing in a baseball game organized by the defendant. The defendant, however, did not own the field. The injury occurred shortly after the game was over, between the dugout and right field. The plaintiff was walking out to meet her son when she stepped in a divot in the grass, breaking her leg in three places. The woman filed a lawsuit against the little league association, as well as the town. At issue in this case was the lawsuit against the little league association only.
After pre-trial discovery was complete, the association asked the court to dismiss the case. The association argued that since it did not own the field, it did not have a duty to inspect and maintain it prior to using it. The lower court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the case. The plaintiff appealed.
On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the association was in sole control of the field at the time, and it had a duty to all the players and parents involved to inspect the area and make sure it was safe. However, the appellate court did not agree. The court heavily weighed the fact that the field was owned by the town, rather than the association. The court noted that, as a general rule, a third party is not responsible for maintaining land that does not belong to them. In addition, the court noted that the injury occurred to a parent, not a player, and it occurred off the playing field and after the game had ended.
As a result of this ruling, the plaintiff will not be permitted to pursue her claim against the association. However, this does not affect the plaintiff’s case against the town, which may still be viable. With that said, lawsuits against towns and municipalities are often subject to strict rules regarding a government’s immunity from personal injury lawsuits.
Have You Been Injured on the Property of Another?
Generally speaking, landowners owe a duty of care to maintain safe premises for those whom they invite onto their property. Thus, if you have been injured on another’s property, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you recoup the costs associated with the slip-and-fall accident. To learn more, and to speak with a dedicated South Florida injury attorney about your case, call 800-753-5529 to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Alcohol-Related Accidents on Florida Roads, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published January 14, 2016.
Drunk Driving on South Florida Roads, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published February 9, 2016.