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Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue Apartment Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
439 F.2d 477 (D.C. Cir. 1970)


Facts

Sarah Kline (plaintiff) moved into an apartment owned by 1500 Massachusetts Avenue Apartment Corp. (apartment corporation) (defendant) in October 1959. At this time, the three entrances to the apartments were guarded, and the adjoining garage area was guarded. However, by 1966, funding and guard shortages resulted in the entrances being largely unguarded. Additionally, violent crimes began occurring against the tenants of the apartment corporation. The apartment corporation was aware of these incidents. On November 17, 1966, Kline was assaulted and robbed in the common area outside her apartment. This was only two months after another woman had been assaulted and robbed in the same area. Kline brought suit against the apartment corporation on the ground that it had a duty to take steps to protect tenants from foreseeable criminal acts committed by third parties. The district court held there was no duty, and Kline appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Wilkey, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Mackinnon, J.)

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