Legal Writing 604
Pam v. Diner
Negligence requires a showing that a duty was owed, that the duty was breached, and that the
breach was the actual and proximate cause of plaintiff’s damages.
Special Duty-Land Occupier-Invitee
A special duty arises in circumstances involving a land occupier. An invitee is one who enters
upon the land of another with the owner’s permission for the purpose related to the activity. The
landowner owes an invitee a duty of care to inspect and discover any dangerous condition and to
make the premises safe.
Pam was at Diner the local restaurant at about 5:00 p. m. Pam parked in the parking lot. She was
a guest on the premises and that makes her an invitee. Pam was there to have dinner. Diner owes
her a duty of care to inspect the restaurant and remove and warn her of any dangers.
A breach is a failure to act as a reasonable prudent person under the same or similar
Diner failed to warn Pam of the robberies that were taking place in the parking lot.
Diner will say that they only knew of cars being broken into while the patron was in the Diner
eating. Diner will contend that they didn’t know of any robberies taking place in the parking lot.
Diner did however take steps to remedy the robberies in the parking lot by installing cameras in
the parking lot.
Diner will argue that there was no breach of duty to Pam because of the
installing of the cameras to protect the parking lot and that they weren’t any other robberies
before in the parking lot.
Pam will argue that she was told of the other auto robberies and that Diner should have foreseen
that the crimes would happen since the autos were robbed.
Thus, Diner breached its duty of care to Pam.
“But For Diner not warning of criminal acts in the parking lot or hiring security guards to protect
patron who were parking in order to eat at their diner, Pam would not have been robbed.
Diner is the actual cause of Pam’s injuries.
Diner knew there had been previous robberies of auto in the parking lot. It would be foreseeable
that crime would only increase in the parking if they didn’t hire guards to patrol the parking lot
while their patrons were eating dinner in their restaurant. Diner could say that the robber was the