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WPI120.03Duty to Licensee or Social Guest—Activities of Owner or Occupier

6 WAPRAC WPI 120.03Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 120.03 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
July 2019 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part X. Owners and Occupiers of Land
Chapter 120. Trespasser—Licensee—Social Guest—Invitee
WPI 120.03 Duty to Licensee or Social Guest—Activities of Owner or Occupier
An [owner] [occupier] of premises has a duty to exercise ordinary care in conducting activities to avoid injuring any person who is on the premises with permission and of whose presence the [owner] [occupier] is, or should be, aware.
The definitions of licensee and social guest are not needed with this instruction because the duty is the same as to both. If the issue is whether or not there was permission to be on the premises, use WPI 120.01 (Trespasser—Definition) and WPI 120.02 (Duty to Trespasser) with this instruction, to submit the trespass issue. Use bracketed material as applicable.
This instruction is based on Potts v. Amis, 62 Wn.2d 777, 384 P.2d 825 (1963), which holds that an owner or occupier of land has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid injuring a person who is on the land with permission and of whose presence the owner or occupier is, or should be, aware.
Citing Potts, the court in Egede-Nissen v. Crystal Mountain, Inc., 93 Wn.2d 127, 606 P.2d 1214 (1980), relied upon the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 341 (1965), for guidance regarding the liability of possessors of land to licensees for injuries resulting from activities on their premises. That section, titled “Activities Dangerous to Licensees,” provides:
A possessor of land is subject to liability to his licensees for physical harm caused to them by his failure to carry on his activities with reasonable care for their safety if, but only if,
  • (a) he should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, and
  • (b) they do not know or have reason to know of the possessor's activities and of the risk involved.
In Dorr v. Big Creek Wood Products, Inc., 84 Wn.App. 420, 927 P.2d 1148 (1996), the Court of Appeals relied on Restatement (Second) of Torts § 341, comment (a) (1965), in holding that a licensee, who enters upon land with knowledge of the activities being conducted on the land, may not expect the possessor to alter the possessor's way of working in order to make the land safe for the licensee. There was evidence in Dorr, however, from which the jury could conclude that the possessor of land had negligently motioned the licensee forward into a dangerous area.
[Current as of September 2018.]
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