Richard Melville Case Analysis

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Question Presented

Does Richard Melville fall within the category of people that C.D. Management owes a duty of reasonable care?

Brief Answer

No, he does not. The rule in Massachusetts is that landowners owe a duty of reasonable care is only to those that are lawfully on their property. While there are exceptions for children, Richard Melville does not fall into any of the exceptions.

Statement of Facts

On November 1, 2014 Richard Melville, was taking the school bus home from Bedford Falls Middle School. The bus driver failed to stop at Richard’s normal stop at Water Street. Richard was dropped off at an unfamiliar bus stop on the route, at least four blocks from his typical bus stop. This area is urban with vacant structures, empty
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These differences can be considered when they arise in future cases.” Id. These exceptions do not apply to Richard Melville. One exception is a, “Duty of reasonable care is owed by an owner to a trespasser who has become helplessly trapped on the premises to the owner’s knowledge.” Pridgen, 364 Mass. 696 (1974). Joseph Pridgen was a minor who, while riding in an elevator climbed through an escape hatch and got on top of the elevator. His friend pushed a button on the top of the car, which caused the car to descend, during this time Joseph slipped and fell. Joseph was crushed by the car and suffered serious injuries. The facts in this case are unlike ours, the owner of 666 Elm St. was not aware that Richard was in any peril and therefore this exception does apply to…show more content…
This would not apply C.D. Management as cases in which a landowner was held liable only dealt with injuries sustained by those who were legally on their property. Mullins v. Pine Manor College, 389 Mass. 47 (1983). A college was held liable for injuries that a student suffered while on school grounds. These facts are different in this case mainly because a student is a lawful visitor to their own school’s grounds, where Richard Melville was not a lawful visitor to 666 Elm St. The opposition may also raise the case of Whittaker v. Saraceno, 418 Mass. 196 (1994). Where a tenant was barred from recovery because the criminal act was not foreseeable. They will argue that this instance was foreseeable because the building supervisor was aware of non-tenants using the coin-operated laundry, and that someone matching the description of the man had been seen around the building and harassing tenants. The difference between Whittaker and our case though is that that a tenant and not a trespasser suffered damages. A third case, McKinney-Vareschi v. Paley, the Court held, “This duty, as applied to risks posed by a third party, requires the property owner to exercise reasonable care in preventing injury to a lawful visitor caused by the reasonably foreseeable acts of another.” 42 Mass.App.Ct. 953, 954 (1997). This is another case, which only speaks to landowner

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