Martinez v. City of Beverly Hills

Facts: A local agency maintains and inspects sidewalks and alleyways for potential hazards. The agency’s oversight of alleyways is limited to potential hazards for vehicle usage, whereas its oversight of sidewalks is far greater as it is primarily concerned with potential hazards for pedestrian use. A pedestrian trips on a deep divot in an alleyway and falls, resulting in an injury.

Claim: The pedestrian seeks money losses from the agency, claiming the local agency caused the accident due to its negligence since it had a duty owed to the public to repair and eliminate the divot in the alleyway and it did not.

Counterclaim: The local agency claims the divot was unknown to the agency and it did not have a duty to inspect and maintain alleyways for pedestrians use as alleyways are designed for vehicular use.

Holding: A California court of appeals holds the local agency owed no duty to the pedestrian injured due to a condition in the pavement of an alleyway that caused the injury since the agency maintains and inspects alleyways for conditions affecting use by vehicles, unlike inspections and maintenance of sidewalks designed for pedestrian use. [Martinez v. City of Beverly Hills (2021) 71 CA5th 508]

Read Martinez v. City of Beverly Hills in full here.

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Chapter 41: Real Estate Property Management