Who is Liable for an Injury at a Public Park in Connecticut?

Who is Liable for an Injury at a Public Park in Connecticut?

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To take advantage of the seasonable weather, you went to the public park. While there, you sustained a serious injury and must now endure an extensive and expensive recovery process. How do you determine the party that is responsible for your injury? To learn who is liable for an injury at a public park, please keep reading, then contact an experienced Stamford, Connecticut slip and fall lawyer today.

Who can you hold liable for an injury at a public park in Connecticut?

State law makes municipalities liable for damages to people or property caused by:

  • The negligent acts or omissions of the municipality or its officers or agents acting within the scope of their employment or official duties
  • Negligence in the performance of functions from which the municipality derives a special corporate profit or financial benefit, or
  • Acts that constitute the creation or participation in the creation of a nuisance

How do you hold a Connecticut municipality liable for an injury in a public park?

To make a municipality liable for the injuries you sustained in a town park, you must prove either negligence or nuisance. To hold a municipality liable under a negligence theory, you must prove:

  • The park was in a dangerous or defective condition
  • The municipality breached its duty to inspect and remove the dangerous or defective condition or otherwise make the area safe, and
  • This failure led to you sustaining an injury

To hold a municipality liable under a nuisance theory, you must prove that:

  • The park was in such bad condition that it constituted a nuisance, and
  • The municipality had created the nuisance by some positive act, such as digging a trench or beginning some other building project, not merely by inaction such as the failure to inspect

Keep in mind that even if you prove these elements, the court may find that the municipality falls under the landowner recreation immunity law.

What is the landowner recreation immunity law?

This law protects municipalities from negligence lawsuits under certain circumstances. Under this law, landowners who make all or any part of their land available to the public without charge, rent, fee or other commercial services for recreational purposes owe no duty to keep the land safe for entry or use by others for recreational purposes. They also do not need to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity on the land to those entering for recreational purposes.

The Connecticut Supreme Court unanimously upheld that the landowner recreation immunity law may apply to municipalities, except where:

  • The circumstances made it apparent to the public officer that a failure to act would likely result in an identifiable person coming to harm
  • A statute specifically provides for a cause of action against a municipality or municipal officer for failure to enforce certain laws, and
  • The alleged acts involved malice, wantonness or intent to injure, rather than negligence

All of these rules are further modified by statutes with rules of qualified immunity.

This may sound confusing, in which case you should speak with a skilled Fairfield County, Connecticut personal injury lawyer soon.

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Contact Casper & de Toledo today to schedule your free initial consultation with our seasoned traumatic brain injury lawyers.