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23 Ark. L. Rev. 153 (1969-1970)
Torts - Occupier's Liability - Invitee, Licensee, Trespasser Distinction Abolished in California

handle is hein.journals/arklr23 and id is 155 raw text is: Torts-Occupier's Liability-Invitee, Licensee,
Trespasser Distinction Abolished in California
Plaintiff was a social guest in the apartment of defendant
when injured by a defective bathroom faucet handle. The lower
court granted summary judgment for the defendant, holding
that a social guest was a mere licensee and, therefore, not en-
titled to recover. On appeal, reversed. The court held that
predicating liability upon a distinction between invitee, licensee,
and trespasser, while once perhaps based upon reason, is no
longer sound. Rather than adopt numerous exceptions to the
prior doctrine, the California Supreme Court elected to abolish
the doctrine itself, instead allowing recovery whenever the de-
fendant, as a reasonable man under the circumstances, should
have foreseen that his action or inaction would result in injury to
the plaintiff. Rowland v. Christian, - Cal. 2d __, 443 P.2d 561,
70 Cal. Rptr. 97 (1968).
Generally, the law concerning the liability of a possessor of
land to others injured on the land stems from an early merger
between the concept of the sanctity of private property and a
newly emerging law of torts. The almost sacred nature of pri-
vate land was well entrenched while courts were quite reluctant
to impose liability on one who negligently caused injury to an-
other. Judges who were asked to impose liability upon a
landowner for injury to another on the land were understand-
ably inclined to give what is perhaps today considered far too
much deference to property rights.'
Thus, there arose different classes of plaintiffs, to each of
which the possessor owned different duties. The Restatement
(Second) of Torts defines these classes as follows:
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon land
in the possession of another without a privilege to do so created
by the possessor's consent or otherwise.2
A licensee is a person who is privileged to enter or remain
on land only by virtue of the possessor's consent.s
1. Note, The History and Comparative Law of Invitees, Licensees
and Trespassers, 69 L.Q. REV. 182 (1958).
2. RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF TORTS § 329 (1965) [hereinafter cited
as RESTATEMENT]. See 2 F. HARPER & F. JAMES, THE LAW OF TORTS § 27.1
(1956) [hereinafter cited as 2 HARPER & JAMES]; W. PROSSER, THE LAW
OF TORTS § 58 (3rd ed. 1964) [hereinafter cited as PROSSER]. See also
Rich v. Tite-Knot Pine Mill, 245 Ore. 185, 421 P.2d 370 (1966).
3. RESTATEMENT § 330. See Lord v. Lencshire House, Ltd., 272

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