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Basso v. Miller

352 N.E.2d 868 (1976)

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Basso v. Miller

New York Court of Appeals

352 N.E.2d 868 (1976)

Facts

A visitor at Ice Caves Mountain scenic park (defendant) fell into a 40-foot crevice. Another visitor learned of the incident and went to a nearby town to get help. Basso (plaintiff) and Miller (defendant) left the town for the park on Miller’s motorcycle. Both Basso and Miller held season passes for Ice Caves Mountain and were already familiar with the park. It was still daylight when Basso and Miller arrived. Meanwhile, the police and fire department had been called. Basso and Miller provided some assistance, but most of the rescue of the fallen visitor was conducted by policemen or firemen. When Basso and Miller left, again on Miller’s motorcycle, it was dark. Miller drove into a series of holes and lost control of his motorcycle. Basso and Miller were thrown onto rocks. Basso brought suit against Miller and Ice Caves Mountain. In the trial, the jury instructions turned on the classification of Basso and Miller as either trespassers, licensees, or invitees, with each classification entailing a different level of care owed by Ice Caves Mountain to Basso and Miller. The jury found in favor of Basso, assigning 60 percent of the fault to Ice Caves Mountain and 40 percent to Miller. Ice Caves Mountain and Miller appealed. The New York Court of Appeals granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cooke, J.)

Concurrence (Breitel, C.J.)

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