August 3, 2022
Montes v. YMCA of Glendale, California (August 3, 2022, B309454)
An intoxicated tenant died on New Year’s morning after he accessed the sloped roof of his apartment building and then fell or jumped to the street below. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the building owner on the ground that there is no legal duty to warn of or remedy an open and obvious danger unless there is a foreseeable practical necessity requiring the injured party to encounter the danger.
The Court of Appeal affirmed because there was no necessity or any other circumstance that made it foreseeable the tenant would choose to access the dangerous roof. The court noted in particular that the tenant was not invited to access the roof, his voluntary state of intoxication could not be used to claim ignorance of the obvious danger, and there is a limit as to how far society should go to protect individuals from their own daring or self-destructive impulses.
Horvitz & Levy is counsel for the defendant-respondent.