Bad facts make bad law
In the recent Stoll v. Stobby case, the Plaintiff filed suit because of a sore neck he suffered after a fall from Stobby's porch. He also sued the wrecker company that backed into his car a few months later. He alleged that the fall from the porch was caused by Stobby's loose dog and a missing rail, but the circumstances suggested that maybe, like the Defendant, Stoll was imbibing a little too much...The court went to great lengths to allow his case to be summarily dismissed: creating bad precedent for everyone else.
Among other rulings, the Court felt compelled to rule that the missing porch rail was "open and obvious" and therefore the property owner owed no duty to make repairs. It held that a dog owner owes no duty to control his dog on his own property, and that running loose, the dog posed no danger to anyone, despite prior incidents of jumping on visitors. All of these conclusions are contrary to common sense and good judgment, but appear driven by an over-reaching, strict liability claim. Perhaps justice was done, between Stoll and Stobby, but the decision creates dangerous precedents that could be applied the next time an elderly guest is injured by a loose dog or a child falls from a porch without railings.