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Tannuzzo, Angelo 9/29/2014

For Educational Use Only

337Artificial Conditions Highly Dangerous to Known..., Restatement (Second)...

Restatement (Second) of Torts 337 (1965)


Restatement of the Law - Torts
Database updated June 2014
Restatement (Second) of Torts
Division 2. Negligence
Chapter 13. Liability for Condition and Use of Land
Topic 1. Liability of Possessors of Land to Persons on the Land
Title B. Liability of Possessors of Land to Trespassers
337 Artificial Conditions Highly Dangerous to Known Trespassers
Comment:
Reporter's Notes
Case Citations - by Jurisdiction
A possessor of land who maintains on the land an artificial condition which involves a
risk of death or serious bodily harm to persons coming in contact with it, is subject to
liability for bodily harm caused to trespassers by his failure to exercise reasonable care
to warn them of the condition if
(a) the possessor knows or has reason to know of their presence in dangerous
proximity to the condition, and
(b) the condition is of such a nature that he has reason to believe that the trespasser
will not discover it or realize the risk involved.

See Reporter's Notes.

Comment:

2014 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

Tannuzzo, Angelo 9/29/2014


For Educational Use Only

337Artificial Conditions Highly Dangerous to Known..., Restatement (Second)...

a. The rule stated in this Section relates only to the conditions under which a possessor of land is
subject to liability to a trespasser whom he knows to be about to come in contact with a highly
dangerous artificial condition maintained by him upon the land. The conditions under which a
possessor of land is subject to liability for harm caused to a constant trespasser upon a limited
area by a highly dangerous artificial condition are stated in 335. The conditions under which a
possessor of land is subject to liability for harm done by the activities which he carries on upon
the land are stated in 334.
b. The few cases in which the situation covered by this Section has arisen have involved artificial
conditions with a risk of death or serious bodily harm to the trespasser, and such harm has in fact
resulted. No reason is apparent, however, for any limitation of the rule to such cases, and it may
reasonably be expected to apply to natural conditions on the land, or to the risk of harm less than
death or serious bodily harm, including harm to the trespasser's property.

Reporter's Notes
There are few cases bearing on this Section. Buch v. Amory Mfg. Co., 69 N.H. 257, 44 A. 809, 76
Am. St.Rep. 163 (1897), which contains a clear statement contrary to the Section, was rejected by
the first Restatement as not in accord with the principle stated in 335, and the cases supporting it.
The Section is now supported by Martin v. Jones, 122 Utah 597, 253 P.2d 359 (1953), adhered
to on rehearing, 122 Utah 609, 261 P.2d 174; Oklahoma Biltmore v. Williams, 182 Okla. 574, 79
P.2d 202 (1938); Gaylord Container Corp. v. Miley, 230 F.2d 177 (5 Cir. 1956); and cf. Hobbs
v. George W. Blanchard & Sons Co., 74 N.H. 116, 65 A. 382, 124 Am. St.Rep. 944 (1906). In
Carroll v. Spencer, 204 Md. 387, 104 A.2d 628, 44 A.L.R.2d 1247 (1954), the court refused to
find any duty, because the peril was not imminent.

Case Citations - by Jurisdiction

C.A.3
C.A.7
D.Ariz.
D.Idaho

2014 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.