Man Impales Himself on Fence in Trespass Case

A man, trying to sneak into a concert, impaled his thigh on a 12-foot, wrought-iron fence. The fence has sharp-ended spikes that rise about 8 inches above a horizontal bar. Under common law, a landowner has no duty to trespassers. However, there may be some duty for anticipated or discovered trespassers. There is also a line of cases dealing with improper forms of property protection. A person cannot use force or machines or devices calculated to cause serious bodily injury or death in defense of property. Fences are uniformly viewed as appropriate forms of protection. There does remain the question, however, of negligence and whether the concert operators should anticipate such forms of intrusions. Ultimately, courts and juries are disinclined to protect such trespassers — particularly from obvious risks. For the full story, click here

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