Party at the Firehouse

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Q: I was attending a party inside the garage of a firehouse.  Tables and chairs were set up instead of the customary firehouse vehicles, but it had not been possible to remove two cement car stops, put there to block trucks while parking.

Each was five feet long, five inches wide and five inches high.  To go in and out of the garage, my husband and I had walked in between the car stops at least twice.

A folding chair was placed over the end of each car stop, and next to the folding chairs, orange cones were set up.  Six helium balloons were attached to each orange cone, by strings, three feet in height.  The car stops were separated from one another by seven feet, and located between them was a tub containing a keg of beer.

In preparation for leaving the party, I was walking towards the coat rack.  I turned to talk to a man, and I tripped, upon a car stop.

A: This case sounds problematic.  Your lawyer will be concerned that the court will hold that the car stops were not an inherently dangerous condition and, moreover, they were readily observable by the reasonable use of your senses.  The conclusion may be that you should have paid more attention to where you were going and less to the other man.  If so, the party givers and the fire district did not breach a duty owed to you.

You do not say that the firehouse was inadequately lit at the time of the party.  If the lighting was poor, then that could change the equation.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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