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Castaneda v. Olsher

    Brief Fact Summary.

    PauleOlsher, George Olsher, and P&G Enterprises (Olsher) appealed a judgment that held Olsher liable for violating a duty of care when a resident, Ernest Castaneda, was shot during a gang confrontation in a mobile home community.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A landlord does not have the duty to prevent potential gang members from renting property.

    Facts.

    Ernest Castaneda (Castaneda) was shot during a gang confrontation in a mobile home community owned by PauleOlsher, George Olsher, and P&G Enterprises (defendants). Castaneda sued Olsher claiming that Olsher was aware of gang activity in the community. The trial court granted judgment in favor of the defendant and the appeals court reversed.

    Issue.

    Whether a landlord has the duty to prevent potential gang members from renting property?

    Held.

    No. The defendants did not breach any duty because a shoot out between gang members was not foreseeable, the defendants did not have a duty to prevent the shoot out, and he evidence presented by Castaneda was not enough to prove that the landlords were aware of gang activity within the community. The judgment of the appeals court is reversed.

    Discussion.

    To determine whether a duty of care exists, a court must consider: (1) the foreseeability of harm, (2) whether the plaintiff suffered injury, (3) the connection between the defendant’s conduct and the injury suffered, (4) the blame attached to the defendant’s conduct, (5) policies to prevent future harm, (6) the burden of placing a duty of care on the defendant and the consequences on the community, (7) whether there is insurance for the risk involved.


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