Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Katko v. Briney
Defendants inherited an unoccupied farmhouse and over the course of ten years the house was subject to a series of break-ins. The property sustained considerable damage and despite boarding up the windows and posting no trespass signs, the incidents continued. Defendants then set up a shotgun trap, where the gun was secured to an iron bed with its muzzle pointed at the door. A wire was fastened from trigger to doorknob, pointed in such a manner as to wound an intruder’s feet. When Plaintiff, having broken and entered on at least one prior occasion entered, the gun went off, injuring Plaintiff’s right leg. A jury found for the Plaintiff, awarding both actual and punitive damages. Defendants appealed.
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