Hayden Vs Letitia Case Study

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Case Name and Citation

HAYDEN vs. UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME 716 N.E.2d 603 (1999)
Court of Appeals of Indiana

Summary of the Key Facts in the Case

On September 16, 1995 William Hayden and Letitia Hayden attended a football game that was played on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. William and Letitia were season ticket holders with the university that sat in their reserved seats, which were located in the south endzone behind the goalpost.
While the game was underway, in the second quarter of the football game, one of the teams kicked the football in the direction of the goal. There is a net behind the goalposts that are supposed to raise before the ball is kicked to keep the ball out of the stands. The net at this particular event
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The other times the ball wasn’t caught by the net, the ball would travel near the same area that the Hayden’s were seated. The fans around their seats would lunge outward to try and catch the ball just like when the incident occurred in September. William, like Letitia, was knocked down from fans around their seated area.

Defendant Argument

The University of Notre Dame argues that they do not owe Letitia Hayden a duty to protect her from the third party’s actions. The reasoning behind this was that the actions of a third party are unforeseeable, therefore Notre Dame owed Letitia Hayden no duty to anticipate the actions and protect her. Therefore, Notre Dame is not liable.

Holdings

The judge ruled that the University of Notre Dame did in fact owe Letitia Hayden a duty to take necessary precautions to protect her from injury, caused by the actions of other fans in the area that were trying to get ahold of the ball in the same seating area. It was also found that the trial court was in fact incorrect in originally entering summary judgment and finding that no duty existed in favor of the University of Notre
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