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There are at least two exceptions under which a non-negligent landowner may be held vicariously liable for the negligence of an independent contractor: the landowner control exception and the inherently dangerous activity exception.
Appellant, Loren Martin Hatch, instituted a suit against respondents, landowner and entertainment company, arguing that both were liable for injuries stemming from failure to properly attach the bungee cord when appellant made a bungee jump. The jury awarded appellant $ 5,000,000, finding respondent landowner vicariously liable on a premises liability theory and respondent entertainment company liable for recklessness. The trial court, however, granted respondent landowner's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and it denied respondents' motion for remittitur. Appellant challenged the judgment.
Under the circumstances, could the respondent landowner be held liable for the injuries sustained by the appellant, notwithstanding its lack of negligence?
On appeal, the court affirmed the liability of respondent entertainment company for recklessness and denial of the remittitur request, but it reversed and remanded the verdict in favor of respondent landowner. The court held that bungee jumping was an inherently dangerous activity, that the risk was not caused by collateral negligence, and that while respondents were not in a joint venture, they were both liable for damages as determined by the jury.