WA Legal Roundup - Division I
Curtis walked onto the Lein's dock and her leg went through. The trial court applied res ipsa (the dock was destroyed without an opportunity to inspect). But it refused to summarily hold that the Leins should have known of the defect, only that the defect existed:
Expanding Penson to include the facts in this case would create the potential for premises liability every time a structure fails regardless of whether a defect was discoverable.
Here's my problem with that logic: The dock may have provided evidence that they should have known. If the whole thing was creaky and rotten, logic would dictate they should have known. Then again, that is a pretty strong sanction for the spoliation in this case, especially where the defect is given to the Plaintiff.
Thoughts? I would love to hear from both bars here.