|Senior Associate Dirk Larsen Obtains Summary Judgment in Two Public Entity Cases|
Congratulations to Senior Associate Dirk Larsen who recently obtained summary judgment in two public entity cases.
In Ti v. BARTD, the plaintiff alleged that she was injured when train doors closed on her as she paused in the doorway while entering a BART train. The court found that the closing of train doors does not pose a substantial risk of harm to foreseeable users exercising due care, and thus does not constitute a dangerous condition of public property within the meaning of Government Code § 835.
In Lee v. Greater Vallejo Recreation District and City of Vallejo, the plaintiff alleged that he was injured when he was struck by a limb that fell from a eucalyptus tree at a park owned by the City of Vallejo and operated by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District. The court found that the falling limb constituted a natural condition of unimproved property, thus immunizing the City and District from liability under Government Code § 831.2. In doing so, it rejected the plaintiff’s argument that eucalyptus trees are not “natural conditions” because they are not native to California. The court also found that the wooden footbridge on which the plaintiff was standing constituted a recreational trail, thus also immunizing the City and District from liability under Government Code § 831.4.