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property liability Premises Liability

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by iowaboy77, Jul 19, 2009.

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  1. iowaboy77

    iowaboy77 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I built a house on 12 acres of a former pasture, outside of any city jurisdiction. The neighbor to our West converted a portion of his property into an outdoor wedding center. He erected a fence between our properties. He placed a gated gap at one end of the run, and an ungated walking gap at the other end of the fence run. We requested verbally that there be no gaps between our property, but the two were placed in the fence.

    The neighbor recently asked if he could use a portion of our property for overflow parking, and I denied this fearing liability should someone be injured on our property.

    This got me thinking about potential liability. We have two large dogs, a flowing creek, many rocks and even some potentially ankle twisting holes. Would no trespassing, or beware of dog signs limit liability if someone from a wedding party would wander through the fence? Other than gating and locking both fence gaps, are there other ways to limit liability in my case?
     
  2. iowaboy77

    iowaboy77 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    See also the previous post. I placed it a week before and it did not post to the forum, so I re-tried. This thread is the same issue, placed after I thought about the problem a little more.

    Also, my fears were partially justified on Saturday, when a man wandered thru the fence and was walking around my grain bins while talking on his cell. My dogs chased him back across the fence once they caught wind that he was there. Had they caught him, I don't know what would have happened. I went over to talk to the man but could not locate him. I assume he's ok- I watched the whole thing from the house.

    What would my liability have been if the dogs had caught him and injured him. Would signs lessen my liability?
     
  3. dee_dub

    dee_dub Moderator

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    Usually there is no duty owed to trespassers. But I understand that Iowa's premises liability laws are in a state of flux - a recent decision did away with the traditional distinction between licensees and invitees, and might arguably even do away with the distinction between invitees and trespassers. In the result, an occupier might be liable for damage suffered by people on its property even if they were trespassing. I would at a minimum put up signs warning people to stay out and warning of the potential dangers, and talk to a local lawyer.
     

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