Ann M. v. Pacific Plaza Shopping Center

In Ann M. v. Pacific Plaza Shopping Center, 6 Cal. 4th 666 (1993) the defendants objected to evidence submitted by the plaintiff on the motion for summary judgment, but the trial court did not rule on the objections. The Supreme Court noted that "because counsel failed to obtain rulings, the objections are waived and are not preserved for appeal." (At p. 670, fn. 1.) The Supreme Court left open the question whether some commercial property is, by its very nature, so "inherently dangerous that, even in the absence of prior similar incidents, providing security guards will fall within the scope of a landowner's duty of care." (Ann M., supra, 6 Cal. 4th at p. 680, fn. 8.) There, the court intimated without deciding that certain types of property, such as all-night convenience stores and underground parking garages, may provide " ' "an especial temptation and opportunity for criminal misconduct" ' " so as to create a duty to provide heightened security measures irrespective of prior incidents of similar conduct. (Ibid.) The court recognized that foreseeability is a "crucial factor" in determining the existence or scope of a duty. (6 Cal.4th at p. 678.) In Ann M., the California Supreme Court observed, "The requisite degree of foreseeability rarely, if ever, can be proven in the absence of prior similar incidents of violent crime on the landowner's premises. To hold otherwise would be to impose an unfair burden upon landlords and, in effect, would force landlords to become the insurers of public safety, contrary to well-established policy in this state. " (Ann M., supra, 6 Cal.4th at p. 679.)