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Defective ladder claim is dismissed

In Churchill v. Ferry, the injury victim filed suit against a landowner after falling from Defendants' ladder while removing gutters from the home.  Churchill claimed that he was instructed to use the Ferry's ladder that had no feet, and in combination with the Ferry's deck, the ladder constituted an unreasonable risk of harm.  Ferrys argued that they had not instructed Churchill to use their ladder or to perform this task, and that through simple common sense they had "figured out" not to use the ladder on the deck.  On this basis, they persuaded the trial court to dismiss Churchill's claim. 

The Court of Appeals upheld this result.  While the court's reasoning is not clear, it either held that Ferrys owed no duty to Churchill because the alleged hazard was "open and obvious" or it held that Ferrys had not violated their duty to warn of a defect--because it was not a defect that an invitee otherwise would not recognize. In either event, Ferry's insurer was not required to compensate Churchill for his injuries.
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