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Rowland v. Christian

Supreme Court of California
443 P.2d 561 (Cal. 1968)



Nancy Christian (defendant) invited James Rowland (plaintiff) to her home. While using Christian’s bathroom, Rowland severely injured his hand when one of the sink fixtures broke off and cut him. Christian became aware of a crack in the fixture two weeks earlier, and had asked her landlord to fix it. Christian failed to warn Rowland of the dangerous condition. Rowland brought suit against Christian. At trial, the evidence did not show that the defect was obvious or open, or that Rowland had any reason to know of its existence. The trial court granted summary judgment for Christian on the ground that Rowland was a social guest, and that he was barred from recovery due to doctrines of assumption of risk and contributory negligence. Rowland appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Peters, J.)

Dissent (Burke, J.)

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