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Leyva v. Crockett & Co., Inc.

Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division One

January 18, 2017, Opinion Filed



 [*1107]  [**880] 



In 2013, a golf ball struck Miguel Leyva (Miguel) in the eye while he and his wife, Socorro Leyva (collectively the Leyvas), walked along a public path adjacent to the Bonita Golf Club (the Club). The Leyvas appeal a summary judgment entered in favor of Crockett and Company, Inc. (Crockett), the owner and operator of the Club. The Leyvas contend Crockett was not entitled to summary judgment because the immunities designated in Government Code section 831.41 and Civil Code section 846 do not apply to their tort claims. We conclude section 831.4 bars their action and we affirm the judgment.


Underlying Facts

In 2009, Crockett granted the County of San Diego (County) two public easements for a public unpaved [***2]  recreational hiking and equestrian trail, which runs parallel to the golf course. A chain-link fence approximately six feet high and a line of eucalyptus trees spread eight to 12 feet apart separate the trail from the golf course in the area of the 13th hole. There are no warning signs on the fence along the trail side of the 13th hole indicating golf is being played on the golf course.

In 2013, as the Leyvas were walking on the trail adjacent to the 13th hole, a stray golf ball struck Miguel in the eye. As a result of his injury, Miguel lost 80 percent of his vision in his left eye and has a permanently sunken left orbital wall.

Crockett stated the fencing along the 13th hole serves as a property boundary rather than a barrier for stray golf balls. Prior to this incident, the Club had not received reports of anyone who had been hit by a golf ball while walking on the trail behind the 13th hole.2


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7 Cal. App. 5th 1105 *; 212 Cal. Rptr. 3d 879 **; 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 50 ***

MIGUEL LEYVA et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. CROCKETT & COMPANY, INC., Defendant and Respondent.

Subsequent History:  [***1] The Publication Status of this Document has been Changed by the Court from Unpublished to Published January 25, 2017.

Review denied by Leyva v. Crockett & Co., Inc., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 2786 (Cal., Apr. 12, 2017)

Prior History: APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of San Diego County, No. 37-2014-00011334-CU-PO-CTL, Randa Trapp, Judge.

State v. Crockett & Co., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 375 (Cal. App. 4th Dist., Jan. 18, 2017)

Disposition: Affirmed.


trail, immunity, golf course, recreational, summary judgment, hole, golf ball, barriers, public entity, trial court, highway, fence, public easement, handrails, bikeway, walking, erect

Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Appropriateness, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Real Property Law, Limited Use Rights, Easements, Public Easements, Torts, Liability, State Tort Claims Acts, Entities Covered, Public Entity Liability, Immunities