Recently, the Supreme Court of Texas released a per curiam opinion in the case of Lawson v. City of Diboll. The case surrounds an incident where an individual suffered injuries after tripping and falling while she was leaving a baseball field in a city park. The family of the woman filed a premises liability case against the City of Diboll.
The plaintiffs claimed that the woman fell because of the unsafe pedestrian walkways in the park. They further alleged that the City had the duty to provide safe walkways to those that visit the park.
At trial, the City attempted to thwart the claim by evoking the recreational use statute. By using the standard of care in the recreational use statute, the state’s tort claims immunity waiver was also triggered. This waiver allows the city to avoid liability for those injuries that occur to individuals on land that is opened to the public for “recreational” purposes.
The trial court denied this argument, however. The court of appeals reversed the lower court’s finding and held that watching a baseball game at a city park is considered recreation. Ultimately, the case was taken to the Supreme Court of Texas, where the court found in its per curiam opinion that spectating is not recreation under the statute. They remanded the case back to the trial court to be heard in light of their recent opinion.
General Premises Liability Issues in New Mexico
The above case was a particularly complex one because it involved the interpretation of a very specific statute. This often happens in premises liability cases because the standard of care varies greatly depending on what the land was being used for during the time of the incident.
Generally, in New Mexico, there are two types of premises liability cases that focus on where the accident occurred, either on private or on commercial property. There are different standards of care depending on the location. For example, in cases arising on commercial property, the plaintiff needs to establish that the defendant breached the standard duty of care. This means that the business owner did not make their property reasonably safe for those people that were visiting their property. Often, these cases are brought after an individual has been hurt because of a slip-and-fall on the property or a similar instance.
The duties owed by private property owners vary according to the governing law of the jurisdiction. Often, the duty varies not only according to what the property was intended for but according to what the injured party was doing when the accident occurred.
Have You Been Injured on Another Person’s Property?
If you or a loved one has been injured on another person’s or business’ property, you should consider discussing your rights and remedies with one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. As the above case illustrates, these cases have the potential to be long and drawn out if all of the proper governing statutes are not addressed. An attorney can assist you in ensuring that your case meets all of the applicable elements of the claim. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 505-889- FINE to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
DWI Suspect Involved in Fatal New Mexico Crash Free on Bond Awaiting Trial, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2015.
Construction Site Accident in Rio Rancho Kills One and Injures Several Others, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 8, 2015.