|RECENT CALIFORNIA DECISIONS|
Supreme Court Holds Recreational Use Immunity Statute Shielded PG&E from Personal Injury Claims Sustained on Utility Easement
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Prince v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co.,___Cal.4th___
Joshua Jackson, a ten-year old boy, suffered serious injuries while trying to dislodge his kite from a power line maintained by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and located on property owned by Eva Prince. In a lawsuit filed by Jackson’s guardian ad litem against PG&E, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of PG&E because Civil Code § 846, the so-called “Recreational Use Immunity Statute,” shielded PG&E from liability. The Court of Appeal affirmed. Jackson’s guardian ad litem then sued Prince, who in turn, filed a cross complaint against PG&E. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of PG&E, based on the distinction between implied contractual indemnity and equitable indemnity. On review, the California Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision and held that PG&E was immune from liability pursuant to § 846, and that even assuming a claim for implied contractual indemnity may be predicated on an alleged breach of an easement duty, PG&E’s immunity under § 846 barred Prince from recovering indemnification as a matter of law. The Court reversed the judgment and remanded to the Court of Appeal with directions to enter judgment in favor of PG&E.
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Read related items on:
Statutes - State) California) Recreational Land Use Immunity Statute
Topics) Land Use) Easements
Topics) Land Use) Real Property Owner Liability
California) All State
California Supreme Court
Prince v. Pacific Gas and Electric Co.