Politician Trespasses Into House Under Construction, Breaks Leg... Sues Owners

from the crazy-lawsuit-of-the-day dept

Chris J. contributes the latest in our series of absolutely ridiculous lawsuits. Apparently NY State Senator Jim Alesi is suing a couple and their homebuilder over a broken leg he suffered. But the real story is in how he broke the leg. The couple -- who it should be mentioned are constituents of Alesi -- were having a home built. While it was under construction, but no one was there, Alesi suddenly decided to just go into the house and have a look (he says he was checking it out "for a friend.") The door was locked, but he walked around back and found a basement door that was unlocked. Once inside, he tried to climb a ladder to get to the first floor, since no stairs had been built yet... and suffered serious leg injuries, requiring surgery. And now, he's suing the homeowners and the builder.

Yes, let's repeat that. This guy trespassed, broke into someone's home (that was under construction at the time), and then broke his leg while trying to climb a ladder, and then decides to sue about it. And he's a State Senator. This was not a house that was for sale. It was not open to the public in any way. Alesi was apparently cited for trespassing at the time, and everyone involved is apparently baffled that he's suddenly suing now, for something that happened a few years ago, and on something in which it appears that he was massively at fault.

Update: Via the comments we have the full complaint and the news that he's dropped the lawsuit and issued a typical politician's apology, after members of his own party started ridiculing the lawsuit and asking him to drop it.

Filed Under: jim alesi, lawsuits, trespassing

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  1. icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), 27 Jan 2011 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    "If he is an invitee, the land owner owes him a duty of due care to warn him of any dangers or to make the conditions safe if a warning would not suffice. If he's an invitee, he has a good case."
    I'm not sure I would say he had a good case... maybe one that wasn't so obviously fail.

    The duty for safety, as I'm sure you know, falls under the "prudent person" arena. The argument would be made over whether the actions taken by the owner were those which would be required of a prudent person to secure the property. I'd say that locking 2/3rds of the doors would be a great step in that direction. Hopefully, if it gets to trial, the judge would say that a prudent person would realize that a house 'open to the public' would not have required a visitor to enter through the basement and climb a ladder.

    Based on what I know of the case, I don't know that I would have been so quick to hit him with trespassing unless he really was there to do something other than look at what he thought was an open house... but on the same token, I wouldn't hold the owners or builder liable for negligence.

    We have to protect people from reasonable harm, but we don't have to be responsible for their stupidity.

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