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Salevan v. Wilmington Park, Inc. Case Brief

Summary of Salevan v. Wilmington Park, Inc. (1950), Superior CT of Delaware

Facts:  Mr. Salevan was a pedestrian on E. 30th St. as he walked past the baseball park owned by the D.  P brings a cause of action for personal injuries as he was struck in the back by a baseball.  It was entered into testimony that an average of 16-18 foul balls reached E. 30th St during the course of each game.  Furthermore, an average of 2-3 fouls balls come out of the park over a 10 foot fence and land where the P was standing.  Sixty eight games were played that year which would mean that 136-204 balls would have landed at the exact spot where P Salevan was standing.

P argues:  The D park was well aware that instances of foul balls hitting this particular area.  They could have easily compiled such a history over their 8 year period of ownership of the park and should have taken precautions to insure pedestrian safety.  Failure to foresee such risk is negligence.  P doesn’t argue D is obligated to police the roads.  P merely argues that D is obligated to police the objects that are expelled from its property onto public areas.

D argues:  They did undertake precautions.

Rationale:  The very fact that the D undertook precautions in the first place point to their knowledge that such a problem might arise.  They were aware that 2-3 balls per game, and between 136 and 204 balls per year, were circumventing their safety measure, yet took no further precautions.  Their precautions were insufficient.

Holding:  Judgment for P in the amount of $2500 in light of negligence.




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