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Giannuzzi v. State of California

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Four

July 23, 1993, Decided

No. A058730.


 [*464]  [**336]   Plaintiff Anthony Giannuzzi seeks damages for injuries he suffered while riding his motorcycle on a trail within the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Park which is owned and operated by defendant State of California. According to plaintiff's first amended complaint, on Christmas Eve of 1990 he was riding his motorcycle on "an established dirt trail leading over the top of . . . an unimproved hill in the park," unaware that the state had moved quantities of dirt, thereby forming "large, loose dirt pilings at the bottom of this hill . . . directly in the path of the previously established trail." Plaintiff suffered injuries "as a result of an attempt to avoid the dirt pilings left directly in the path of the established [***2]  trail." The state's actions changed the "natural condition," "configuration and direction of the established dirt trail, resulting in a dangerous condition of the public property" within the meaning of Government Code section 835. 1 

 [***3]  A general demurrer by the state on the ground it was immune from liability by virtue of section 831.4, was sustained without leave to amend. CA(1)(1) Plaintiff's appeal 2 challenging the propriety of that ruling requires construction of this statute, which provides in pertinent part:

 [***4]  "] A public entity . . . is not liable for an injury caused by a condition of:

 [*465]  [**337]   "(a) Any unpaved road which provides access to fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, riding, including animal and all types of vehicular riding, water sports, recreational or scenic areas . . ..

"(b) Any trail used for the above purposes.

"(c) Any paved trail, walkway, path, or sidewalk on an easement of way which has been granted to a public entity, which easement provides access to any unimproved property . . .." (Italics added.)

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17 Cal. App. 4th 462 *; 21 Cal. Rptr. 2d 335 **; 1993 Cal. App. LEXIS 766 ***; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 5616

ANTHONY GIANNUZZI, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, Defendant and Respondent.

Prior History:  [***1]  Superior Court of Alameda County, No. 695075-0, James R. Lambden, Judge.

Disposition: The purported appeal from the order sustaining the demurrer is dismissed. The judgment of dismissal is affirmed.


subdivision, trail, riding, provide access, purposes, dangerous condition, recreational, hunting, recreational activity, injuries, fishing, hiking, public entity, unpaved road, vehicular, immunity, notice, dirt, path

Torts, Public Entity Liability, Immunities, General Overview