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Law School Case Brief

Van Dinter v. Kennewick - 121 Wash. 2d 38, 846 P.2d 522 (1993)


When reasonable minds could reach but one conclusion from the evidence presented, questions of fact may be determined as a matter of law, and summary judgment is appropriate. 


An injured person sustained injuries to his eye when his eye struck a rod protruding from a piece of playground equipment at a city park. The injured person commenced suit against the city in negligence. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that the city was immune under Washington's recreational use statute, Wash Rev. Code § 4.24.210, which the appellate court affirmed. The injured person petitioned for further appellate review.


Was respondent city liable for plaintiff’s injuries? 




On appeal, the court affirmed. The court held: (1) the placement of the playground equipment and not the equipment itself was the cause of the injuries; (2) the playground equipment, as well as its proximity to a play area were obvious, thus, the conditions, which caused the injury, were not latent; thus (3) the city was immune under the Washington recreational use statute.

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