first-year law review

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Nov. 9 Torts: Duties Owed to Trespassers, Licensees, and Invitees

I’m going to skip “duty of care” and move on to owners of land. Instead of briefing the cases, I’m going to review the holdings. The holding of Sheehan v. St. Paul & Duluth Ry. Co. was that a trespasser doesn’t have permission to be on the property. The defendant doesn’t owe any duty to the undiscovered trespasser and only a duty to avoid willfully or wantonly injuring the trespasser.

The holding of Barmore v. Elmore showed that a licensee has permission to be on the property, but is there for his own purposes (such as social guests). The owner has a duty to warn of hidden dangers known to the owner, but she doesn’t have to keep the premises safe.

In Campbell v. Weathers,  the court said that an invitee has permission to be on the land for purposes that benefit the landowner. In this case, the landowner has the duty to keep the premises reasonably safe along with the duty to warn and not injure.

It’s important to know what the people are so you can determine the duty owed to the people for purposes of negligence (duty, breach, causation, harm).


November 9, 2006 - Posted by | Torts

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