Warning Against a Dangerous Use of Property Cases In California

Coryell v. U.S. (C.D. Cal. 1994) 855 F.Supp. 1120, 1123, where plaintiff tripped on a cargo airplane ramp while attending an air show at naval air station. the district court held there was no liability absent evidence of an intentional tort by the government. Hannon v. U.S. (E.D. Cal. 1992) 801 F.Supp. 323, 328, where plaintiff fell into scalding water attempting to rescue his dog in a hot creek area. The district court found no liability even though United States knew of potential gap between fence and water, many people went into water at cooler areas, and United States considered and rejected closing area or increasing patrols. The warnings were specific, and the area was patrolled for non-compliance with park rules. Toomey v. U.S. (E.D. Cal. 1989) 714 F.Supp. 426, where plaintiff motorcyclist was injured when he ran into a fence. Summary judgment was affirmed: "Prior to plaintiff's accident there had been no reported accidents involving the fencing surrounding the property, and no complaints had been filed regarding the construction, maintenance or failure to warn of the fence's presence. Therefore, defendant did not have actual or constructive knowledge of . . . probable injury." (Id. at p. 428.) Judd v. United States (S.D. Cal. 1987) 650 F.Supp. 1503, 1512-1513, where plaintiff was injured when he attempted a 35-foot dive from a rock into a small pool near waterfalls in a national forest. There was no liability, despite that the Forest Service knew that persons sunned and swam in the area and dove off of lower rocks. There was no evidence that the Forest Service knew that persons dove from the spot where plaintiff did.