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O'Guin v. Bingham County

Idaho Supreme Court
122 P.3d 308 (Idaho 2005)



Two children, Shaun and Alex O’Guin, walked into an unattended landfill owned by Bingham County (defendant). The entrance to the landfill was not fenced off or obstructed in any way. A section of the pit wall collapsed and killed the O’Guin children, whose parents (plaintiffs) brought a negligence claim against Bingham County. The O’Guins claimed that Bingham County was negligent per se for violating statutes and regulations that required unattended landfills to be fenced off or obstructed. These statutes were passed with the intent to keep unauthorized persons from accessing these sites to promote human health and other objectives. The trial court found that the statutory duty of care applied, but instead elected to apply the common law duty of care owed to trespassers. Bingham County moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the motion.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Trout, J.)

Dissent (Eismann, J.)

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