• December 1, 2010

UPDATE:  Former landowner, BNSF, fails in its second attempt to escape a personal injury claim on summary judgment based on the fact that it no longer owned the land when Plaintiff Darcy Green sustained his ATV injury having run into BNSF’s concrete remnants of an old railroad bridge.

Original Post, April 17, 2010:  In mid-June, 2007, Plaintiff Darcy Green ran his ATV into a concrete pillar of an old railroad bridge and was injured.  BNSF had sold the property in early April, 2007.

Minnesota Litigator suspects that BNSF must have been pretty confident in its motion for summary judgment based on the proposition that, under Minnesota law, a former property owner cannot be held liable for an injury that occurred on the property after the sale of the property.  And we’re not talking about some latent hazard concealed from the new property owner, of course.  Darcy Green did not see the concrete pillar, apparently, and maybe BNSF was similarly blindsided by the ruling against its summary judgment motion?

United States District Judge Michael J. Davis (D. Minn.) denied the railroad’s motion for summary judgment, however, ruling:

The Court finds that as this motion was brought prior to the close of discovery, Plaintiff should be afforded the opportunity to conduct discovery relevant to the issue of the liability of a former owner of real estate.
These requirements are: 1) the vendor concealed or failed to disclose to the vendee the condition of the land which involves unreasonable risk to persons on the land; 2) the injured third party was on the land with the consent of the vendee; 3) the vendee must not have known of the condition or risk; and 4) the vendor knows or has reason to know of the condition, realizes or should realize the risk  involved and has reason to know the vendee will not discover the risk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *