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Foss v. Kincade
Minnesota Supreme Court
766 N.W.2d 317 (2009)
Three-year-old David Foss Jr. suffered serious injuries when a bookcase fell on him in Stephanie and Jeremy Kincade’s (defendants’) home. Stephanie had invited David’s mother, Peggy Foss, and her children over to visit. Peggy knew David liked to climb furniture and likely saw the empty unsecured bookcase, but she and Stephanie were in another room when it fell. David Foss Sr. (plaintiff) sued the Kincades for negligence, who in turn asserted a third-party claim against Peggy, arguing she had primary responsibility for David Jr.’s safety. When trial occurred, the Kincades had gotten rid of the bookcase, so Foss could not show whether it had warning stickers providing actual notice of the tip-over danger. However, the Kincades admitted knowing the bookcase could tip over, and Peggy testified that the Kincades knew David was a very active child. However, the trial court found that evidence did not make the accident sufficiently foreseeable to impose a duty to secure the bookcase and granted the Kincades summary judgment. The appellate court affirmed, reasoning that David’s mother’s presence gave her primary responsibility to ensure his safety. David’s father appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)
Dissent (Page, J.)
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