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Gerchberg v. Loney

576 P.2d 593 (1978)

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Gerchberg v. Loney

Kansas Supreme Court

576 P.2d 593 (1978)

Facts

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Loney (defendants) used a barrel on their property as an incinerator. They instructed their 10-year-old son, Rodney, to burn some papers in the barrel. Rodney started a fire in the barrel and placed the papers next to the barrel. Rolf Gerchberg (plaintiff), a five-year-old neighbor, was with Rodney. The boys left the property, leaving the fire burning. Gerchberg returned later and started burning the papers. The flames in the barrel caught Gerchberg’s clothing on fire, seriously injuring him. Gerchberg sued the Loneys. The trial court ordered a directed verdict in favor of the Loneys. Gerchberg appealed. On appeal, Gerchberg argued that the court should hold that a possessor of premises owes a reasonable duty of care to all people on the premises, regardless of whether a person is a trespasser, licensee, or invitee. The court of appeals declined to adopt universal duty of care for all classes of people on premises. The court did, however, reverse the judgment of the trial court, holding that the case should go to jury on a theory of attractive nuisance. Gerchberg sought review of the decision of the court of appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fromme, J.)

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