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Reed v. City of Los Angeles

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

February 28, 2020, Opinion Filed




CHANEY, J.—Sells Clyde Reed III sued the City of Los Angeles (City) for injuries he sustained when he rode his bicycle into a rope attached to a badminton net stretched across a paved path in MacArthur Park.1 The trial court granted the City's motion for summary judgment on multiple independent grounds: Reed's suit was barred by the doctrine of trail immunity (Gov. Code, § 831.4), no negligent or wrongful act or omission of a City employee caused the dangerous condition that injured Reed, and the City had no actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition.2 We agree with the trial court that Reed's claims are barred by the doctrine of trail immunity. Accordingly, we affirm.


Reed was riding his bicycle on a paved path adjacent to [**2]  a sports field in MacArthur Park at around 5:30 a.m. on September 12, 2015, when he rode into a rope attached to a badminton net and stretched across the path. Reed fell backward off his bicycle and suffered various injuries as a result of the contact with the rope and the fall. Reed alleged that individuals unrelated to the City had erected the badminton net, but that the individuals who did had done so frequently enough that the City either knew or should have known the net would be there the morning of Reed's incident.

Reed filed a complaint against the City alleging two causes of action: (1) dangerous condition of public property (§ 835), and (2) public employee negligence. The City filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that it was immune from liability based on the trail immunity doctrine (§ 831.4), and that even if it was not immune, it had no actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and the negligence claim is an improper cause of action. The trial court agreed with the City as to each of the three grounds in its motion, granted the City's motion for summary judgment, and entered judgment for the City.

Reed filed a timely notice of appeal.

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45 Cal. App. 5th 979 *; 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 174 **

SELLS CLYDE REED III, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES, Defendant and Respondent.

Prior History:  [**1] APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. BC648140, Christopher K. Lui, Judge.

Disposition: Affirmed.


trail, immunity, dangerous condition, path, golf course, golf ball, adjacent, highway, summary judgment motion, trial court, badminton

Torts, Liability, State Tort Claims Acts, Exclusions From Liability, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review