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Inkel v. Livingston

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
869 A.2d 745 (2005)


Donald Livingston hired Solid Rock Builders (collectively, defendants) to build a new house some 42 feet away from his existing oceanfront cottage. During construction, Livingston invited Leonard Inkel (plaintiff) and his family to Easter dinner at the cottage. Inkel had visited several times before and had salvaged windows and doors at the construction site. After dinner, Inkel went outside to smoke, with his son. The two walked to the construction site in the rain as dusk approached. No lights were on and only some walls erected. Ten to 20 feet inside, Inkel fell into an uncovered chimney hole. In the ensuing lawsuit, Inkel claimed Livingston owed him a duty of care as an invitee. The trial court found that the scope of Inkel’s invitation extended only to the cottage and granted summary judgment. Inkel appealed, arguing he had an implied invitation to enter the construction site.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Levy, J.)

Dissent (Calkins, J.)

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