There are numerous issues that can be associated with sledding accidents, sports accidents and dangerous activities on real estate in Rhode Island. This type of law is generally described as “premises liability.” “The legal theory of premises liability holds property owners, tenants and possessors of real property liable for accidents and injuries that occur on that property. The kinds of incidents that may result in premises liability claims in Rhode Island can range from a slip and fall on a public sidewalk or trip and fall to an injury suffered on an amusement park ride.” Cite
Elements of a negligence cause of action in Rhode Island
In law school, personal injury attorneys and slip and fall lawyers learn the basic elements of personal injury law; breach, duty, causation (actual and proximate) and damages. The Rhode Island Supreme Court sitting in the capital city of Providence (the seat of power in the Ocean State) has on numerous occasions set forth the ABC’s of tort law in RI.
For example, in the matter of OUCH v. KHEA the RI TOP tribunal declared “To prevail on a claim of negligence, `a plaintiff must establish a legally cognizable duty owed by a defendant to a plaintiff, a breach of that duty, proximate causation between the conduct and the resulting injury, and the actual loss or damage.'” Selwyn v. Ward, 879 A.2d 882, 886 (R.I.2005) (quoting Mills v. State Sales, Inc., 824 A.2d 461, 467-68 (R.I.2003)). At the forefront of our analysis in this case is whether defendant owed plaintiffs a duty of care, the existence of which is a question of law to be determined by the court. Martin v. Marciano, 871 A.2d 911, 915 (R.I.2005). This Court has acknowledged that there is no clear-cut formula to determine whether a duty exists in a specific case. Kenney Manufacturing Co. v. Starkweather & Shepley, Inc., 643 A.2d 203, 206 (R.I.1994). Instead, the court will employ an ad hoc approach that “turns on the particular facts and circumstances of a given case,” Benaski, 899 A.2d at 502, taking into consideration “`all relevant factors, including the relationship between the parties, the scope and burden of the obligation to be imposed upon the defendant, public policy considerations,’ * * * and the `foreseeability of harm to the plaintiff.'” Selwyn, 879 A.2d at 887 (quoting Martin, 871 A.2d at 915). Supreme Court of Rhode Island. Monica OUCH, as Beneficiary of Heang Say,
Assumption of personal risk – Rhode Island sledding accident attorney
Sledding activities by nature could be considered dangerous in any tight quarters. Choosing the proper and safest option for sledding is always the best decision, but thrill seekers are thrill seekers. The problem is that often there is no one supervising underage sledders, leaving property owners and operators largely at risk for injury claims when the injured party has lawfully occupied the sledding area with approval from the property owners or managers. Many times an injury to an unauthorized sledder may not be covered if they are trespassing.
No duty usually owed to trespassers.
In general, real estate owners owe no duty of due care to trespassers for negligence. This means that if a trespasser is injured as a result of the negligence of the owner of real estate, the trespasser is not entitled to any financial recovery. “Under Rhode Island law, it is well settled that a landowner owes a trespasser no duty except to refrain from willful or wanton conduct. See Bennett, 746 A.2d at 142; ; Tantimonico v. Allendale Mutual Insurance Co., 637 A.2d 1056, 1061 (R.I.1994). It is also well settled that such a duty arises only after a trespasser is discovered in a position of danger. See Wolf v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 697 A.2d 1082, 1086 (R.I.1997); Zoubra v. New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Co., 89 R.I. 41, 44, 150 A.2d 643, 644-45 (1959); New England Pretzel Co. v. Palmer, 75 R.I. 387, 394, 67 A.2d 39, 43 (1949). 755 A.2d 156 (2000) William G. CAIN et al. v.Joel JOHNSON et al. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. July 25, 2000. 157*157 Present WEISBERGER, C.J., LEDERBERG, BOURCIER, FLANDERS, and GOLDBERG, JJ. Ronald J. Resmini, Barrington, Kevin P. Gavin, Paul S. Cantor, Providence, for Plaintiff. Kathleen M. Powers, Marc DeSisto, Providence, for defendant, City of Newport, Brenda D. Baum, for defendant, State of RI. A. Lauriston Parks, Virginia M. McGinn Providence, for defendant, Joel Johnson
Child injury and accident- The attractive nuisance doctrine
However, in some circumstances, a child who is trespassing and is injured on property could be compensated for such injury. This doctrine of law in Rhode Island and Providence Plantation is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. “Rhode Island adopted the Restatement (Second) Torts’ articulation of the attractive nuisance doctrine in its 1971 decision in Haddad. There, a child was injured while being pushed around a defendant supermarket’s parking lot in a shopping cart that had been left unsecured after the store had closed. Under the Restatement (Second) Torts § 339 at 197 (1965),”[a] possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm to children trespassing thereon caused by an artificial condition upon the land if (a) the place where the condition exists is one upon which the possessor knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, and (b) the condition is one of which the possessor knows or has reason to know and which he realizes or should realize will involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children, and 114*114 “(c) the children because of their youth do not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in intermeddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it, and (d) the utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved, and (e) the possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children.” 11 A.3d 110 (2011) Harry HILL et al. v. NATIONAL GRID et al. No. 2009-214-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. January 21, 2011. 111*111 Ronald J. Resmini, Esq., Providence, for Plaintiff. 112*112 Stanley F. Pupecki, Esq., Providence, for Defendant. Present: SUTTELL, C.J., GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, ROBINSON, and INDEGLIA, JJ. OPINION Justice FLAHERTY, for the Court.
Assumption of risk defense and comparative negligence
Injured plaintiffs in a premises liability claim may be assessed for an application of comparative negligence percentages, which limits the claim even when it is a valid claimable negligence cause of action. Comparative negligence means that the Plaintiff is also partially at fault for the accident. Sledding accidents can provide a classic example of how premises liability claims can be dismissed based on the assumption of personal risk for the injured party. It all depends on the material case factors of the claim.
RI law: assumption of risk
“The doctrine of assumption of the risk is an affirmative defense that “may be invoked * * * by a tortfeasor to escape or to diminish liability” for having created “an unreasonable risk of injury.” Labrie v. Pace Membership Warehouse, Inc., 678 A.2d 867, 872 (R.I.1996). In the absence of an express agreement, “a defendant must prove that a plaintiff `knew of the existence of a danger, appreciated its unreasonable character, and then voluntarily exposed himself [or herself] to it.'” Id.; see also Loffredo v. Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 669 A.2d 1162, 1164 (R.I.1996). “In determining whether an individual was aware of a particular risk and understood its character, we shall look to the record to ascertain `what the particular individual in fact saw, knew, understood, and appreciated'” at the time of injury.” Loffredo, 669 A.2d at 1164. “Generally, whether a plaintiff assumed a risk of harm and thereby absolved a defendant from creating an unreasonable risk of injury is an issue for a trier of fact to resolve.” Labrie, 678 A.2d at 872. ” 694 A.2d 691 (1997) Eileen HENNESSEY et al. v. Michael G. PYNE et al. No. 95-687-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island. May 13, 1997. 692*692 Edward L. Gnys, Jr., Christopher M. Rawson, Providence, for Plaintiff. 693*693 Mark W. Dana, Daniel McKiernan, James S. D’Ambra, Providence, for Defendant. Present: WEISBERGER, C.J., and LEDERBERG, BOURCIER, and FLANDERS, JJ. OPINION FLANDERS, Justice.
A RI sledding accident lawyer
A Rhode Island sledding accident lawyer or a RI sledding accident injury attorney will help the family get the compensation they are entitled to as a result of a RI sledding injury. Injuries may be
financially recoverable as a result of a sledding crash or incident if negligence of the property owner or possessor can be established. The potential legal complications of sledding accident injury claims mean that having an experienced personal injury lawyer in East Providence handling a claim on your side is a necessity.
Sledding accident legal liability in RI
Your Rhode Island personal injury attorney will hold the insurance company and / or property owner, including government agencies accountable for their negligence.
Property Ownership or Control- Rhode Island sledding accident attorney
Property ownership is always central to a premises liability cause of action in Providence Superior Court because all property owners are required to maintain their property with regards to safety for any guests. In addition, the property on which the accident occurs may be leased or rented by another individual who has compromised any protections the owner has applied. In a sledding accident, both of these parties could be liable.
“under our well-settled law, a commercial landlord owes a duty of care to an invitee of its tenant only under the narrowest of circumstances * * * [and that] such a landowner is not liable for injuries that the tenant‟s invitee suffers on the leased premises, unless the injury results from the landlord‟s breach of a covenant to repair in the lease, or from a latent defect known to the landlord but not known to the tenant or guest, or because the landlord subsequently has assumed the duty to repair.” Id.
RI recreational use statute
Rhode Island has a recreational use statute. Pursuant to RI law, an individual who does not charge people to use their land is usually not responsible for injuries that occur on such land. “§ 32-6-3 Liability of landowner. Except as specifically recognized by or provided in § 32-6-5, an owner of land who either directly or indirectly invites or permits without charge any person to use that property for recreational purposes does not thereby: (1) Extend any assurance that the premises are safe for any purpose; (2) Confer upon that person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; nor (3) Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to any person or property caused by an act of omission of that person. History of Section.
(P.L. 1978, ch. 375, § 1.)”
limitations to use statute implications
RI laws set certain limitations on recreational use negligence immunity.”§ 32-6-5 Limitation on chapter. (a) Nothing in this chapter limits in any way any liability that, but for this chapter, otherwise exists: (1) For the willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity after discovering the user’s peril; or (2) For any injury suffered in any case where the owner of land charges the person or persons who enter or go on the land for the recreational use thereof, except that in the case of land leased to the state or a subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for that lease shall not be deemed a “charge” within the meaning of this section. (b) When the coastal resources management council designates a right-of-way as part of its designation process as specified in § 46-23-6(5), or when the coastal resources management council stipulates public access as a condition of granting a permit, the landowner automatically will have “limited liability” as defined in this chapter, except as specifically recognized by or provided in this section. History of Section. (P.L. 1978, ch. 375, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 394, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 511, art. 2, § 55.)
Sledding Injuries on Government Property
Government property, and parks in general, are often great places to sled. However, financial and safety concerns have led many local governments in the northern United States to implement bans on sledding on government property or posting signs that state all sledders assume all risk involved. Just like “no trespassing” signs on private property, this communicates to the potential sledder that the activity is not condoned and a claim could actually result in a fine as well. Those who do choose to sled in areas that are unsupervised by a property controller, such as government property that offers open access to all, should always follow all safety rules that could help prevent an accident.
Fatal premises liability causes of action
In the event of a fatal, deadly accident on real estate in Rhode Island or Massachusetts (MA) it is important that you do not just retain a RI injury lawyer who only handles rear-end negligence car crash causes of action. You will need to hire one of the best RI premises liability attorneys in Rhode Island who has extensive experience as a Rhode island wrongful death attorney. A RI wrongful death lawyer will have extensive experience litigating fatal premises liability claims and will be intimately familiar with the RI wrongful death laws. It is important that the family members , loved ones, spouse or children retain the best wrongful death lawyer in Rhode Island
A Rhode Island personal injury lawyer will fight the insurance company and corporate america to get you the justice you deserve. Do not hire a landlord tenant lawyer who is moonlighting as a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. This lawyer will be afraid to litigate the injury claim and the insurance company will not respect him.
Types of premises liability claims in Rhode Island
“Many different types of personal injury cases can be classified as premises liability cases, including:
- slip and fall cases
- snow and ice accidents
- inadequate maintenance of the premises
- defective conditions on the premises
- inadequate building security leading to injury or assault
- elevator and escalator accidents
- dog bites
- swimming pool accidents
- amusement park accidents
- water leaks or flooding, and
- toxic fumes or chemicals.” NOLO “What is Premises Liability? A closer look at the legal concept that governs most cases where you are injured on someone else’s property.
A sledding / car accident
“Children in Yakutat went sledding frequently on a city-owned road, when it was snowbound and had not been sanded. There was evidence that municipal officials had been informed of this activity. In March 1992, Charles Milton (Charles), then a twelve-year-old child residing in Yakutat, was injured in a sledding accident on the road. On many occasions, including on the day of the accident, Charles’s father warned him not to sled on the road. Despite the warnings, Charles sledded down the road into its intersection with a major street. As he entered the intersection, he was struck by a car and seriously injured.” Source
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.