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Harper v. Herman

From lawbrain.com

Harper v. Herman, 499 NW 2d 472 (1993), is a torts case that looks at the role of social hosts.

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Summary of Case Facts

Plaintiff was a guest on the defendants boat when the boat docked at the popular recreation spot. The plaintiff dove into 3 feet of water and severed his spinal cord. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant owed him a duty to warn him of the danger of the shallow water that ultimately led to his injuries.


Whether a boat owner who is a social host owes a duty of care to warn a guest that the water is too shallow to dive?

Holding and Law

No, an affirmative duty to act only arises when a special relationship exisits between the parties. Plaintiff was not deprived of any normal opportunity to help himself. The court in this case essentially reasoned that the defendants knowledge of the dangerous condition alone does not create a liability.

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