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Torts Keyed to Duncan
Katko v. Briney
Citation:183 N.W.2d 657 (1971)
Defendant’s owned an old farm house located several miles from their place of residence. Over a 10 year period, the farm house experienced several break ins where windows were destroyed and the property was generally damaged. After other efforts at stopping the break ins failed, defendant’s decided to rig a shotgun trap that would fire in the event that one of the bedroom doors was opened. No warning of the gun’s presence was posted and it could not be seen from outside the home.
Plaintiffs were in the area of the house hunting when they discovered jars and other items outside the house that they took to add to their collection of antiques. Plaintiffs later returned to the house with the intention of seeing what else they could find inside, believing the house to be abandoned. When one of the plaintiff’s opened the aforementioned bedroom door, the gun went off and shot him in the right leg. Plaintiff’s leg was virtually destroyed, but after wearing a cast on it for a year he was able to walk using crutches.
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