Read What the California Court of Appeals Had to Say About a Premises Liability CaseIn many cases, if a visitor to a property is injured in California, the owner of the property may be responsible for damages. This is typically done via a premises liability case. However, there are limits to when a victim can recover damages. Just because they were injured on someone’s property doesn’t mean they automatically will recover money for it.

One case in question that involved a person climbing on a diving board and subsequently being injured. Was it the fault of the property owner? This was all decided in Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker in which the court decided that the victims who were hurt in accidents that couldn’t have been foreseen can’t recover damages from the owner of the property.

More details about the case

The case in question involved a couple looking at a property that was owned by a bank. The couple wanted to purchase the home as an investment property and they wanted to get a better look at the swimming pool, which was empty on the day of their tour. The listing agent told any prospective buyers to be careful around the edge of the swimming pool.

Before the home was shown, an inspector looked at the home, including each room, the pool, and the diving board. Said inspector didn’t find any safety issues and said that there were no cracks on the diving board. However, the plaintiff in this case climbed up on the diving board in order to see over the fence. He was questioning whether or not trespassers could climb the fence to get access to the pool. While he was on the diving board, it broke, he fell in the pool, and he was injured.

The man’s injuries and subsequent court case

The man’s injuries were significant and included broken bones. He then sued Coldwell Banker for not fixing the diving board nor warning him about it. Coldwell Banker responded and said that they did all they could about the empty pool – including having it inspected – and that they could not have foreseen the accident.

The result of the case

Coldwell Banker asked the courts to immediately give a summary judgement, which essentially throws out the case. The court agreed and said that it would not have been possible for Coldwell Banker to have foreseen the issue. The plaintiff then appealed with a different issue – that the pool should have either had water in it or been closed off. The Court of Appeals once again sided with Coldwell Banker and the plaintiff was not offered an award.

Our thoughts on this premises liability case

With the limited information available, it seems that the courts may have done the right thing. While we believe strongly that it’s the right and responsibility of a property owner to keep their property safe for legal guests, there are some things that simply can’t be prepared for. This seems to be one of them.

If you’ve been injured on the property of someone else and want to know if they should be held responsible for their negligence, then you’re welcome to call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707. We can offer a free legal consultation to give you an idea of your options.