Analyzing Premises Liability Lawsuits:

  1. Analyzing Premises Liability Lawsuits: 

    David and Janet hosted a party at their lakehouse on Halloween night.  They invited approximately 50 guests using an “E-Vite” on the Internet.  The lakehouse was located on the other side of a public road from the lake.  David and Janet had access to a pier on the lake, which was approximately 500 feet from the house across the public road.  The pier had been damaged by Hurricane Ike and never repaired.  David placed orange cones in front of the pier and a sign warning “Danger Do Not Walk on Pier”.  Guests had drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the house and then were taken down to the waterfront for dinner in the boathouse.  Several guests were driven to the lake in a golf cart made by Golf Pro, Inc.   The golf cart was not equipped with lights, and Golf Pro did not warn against its use on public roads at night.  Texas does not require golf carts to be equipped with lights, but does ban their operation on public roads at night.  After dinner, one of the guests at the party, Daniel, who had not been invited but came with a guest who was, walked out onto the pier and shouted,”Hey anybody up for skinny dipping?”  Several other guests followed him onto the pier.  Ray tripped at hit his head against a mooring that projected out from the pier.  These guests, including Ray had all been consuming alcohol.  Ray subsequently filed a lawsuit against David and Janet.  What are the legal issues that arise in this case?

    Later that night after the emergency vehicles had taken Ray to the hospital, David was ferrying his guests from the lakefront back to the house.  As he attempted to cross the road at 9:30 p.m. his golf cart was struck by a vehicle driven by Worley James.  One of the passengers, Morgan was killed. Morgan’s estate later filed a lawsuit against David and Golf Pro.  Discuss whether the estate will prevail on negligence, strict liability or other theory.  What defenses are available to David and/or Golf Pro?

    Structure your response by discussing the causes of action that may be filed by the plaintiffs in these cases and the defenses available to the defendants. 

     

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