d) Woodbridge v. Marks (1897): NL Nature of protective measures matter; no liability for watchdog attack of accidental trespasser. Even though ∆ knew they were vicious, keeping dogs to protect property isn’t unlawful, it’s actually customary. Dogs also discriminate a bit more than spring gun, and are more visible, and aren’t just weapons. 2. Property vs. property: liability allocated to preserve most valuable property (relative value of property) a) Hull v. Scruggs (1941): NL P’s dogs kept coming onto D’s land and sucking all the eggs. For 3 weeks, D took different actions to keep the dogs away. D killed P’s dogs. Defense of property allowed given reasonable measures. No liability for shooting dog that repeatedly sucked D’s eggs because he tried all other reasonable precautions to stop the dog and they didn’t work. Rule: An individual may use reasonable force to protect his property. b) Kershaw v. McKown (1916): L/NL No liability for D shooting P’s dog when attacking D’s goat. Relative value of property matters to proportionality of response. No liability when ∆ saves more valuable property. Additional requirements: requires apparent necessity, acts must be reasonable. Only have to pay value of dog if it’s worth more than the goat. c) Bamford v. Turnley – single owner principle: how would individual act if he controlled both the threat and the threatened property? May not have done this case. 3. Private Necessity: Ploof v. Putnam-- Doctrine of Private Necessity gives a right to an individual to trespass or battery in order to protect life or property. Must be (1) need for preservation of human life and (2) no other reasonable alternatives. (Ploof). Is limited by the Doctrine of Incomplete Privilege – if the person creates damages, he is liable for those damages, even with privilege defense. (Vincent)
a) Ploof v. Putnam (1908): L Master is L for the willful and malicious acts of his servant (servant’s acts under circumstances were unlawful). Emergency may justify tortious behavior. Can’t endanger human life to save property when there’s a necessity. Act of God. Rule: Doctrine of necessity applies to the preservation of human life and justifies the trespass on land or personal property; Master is L for the willful and malicious acts of his servant (servant’s acts under circumstances were unlawful) b) Rossi v. DelDuca (1962): L no trespass in private necessity. P chased by different dog onto ∆’s land, attacked by ∆’s dog there & ∆ liable. Usual rule: liable for your dog’s damages unless it’s a trespasser, but private necessity negated the trespass. P responsible for damages that arose of private necessity. Rule: One is privileged to enter the land in possession of another if it is, or reasonably appears to be, necessary to prevent serious harm to actor or his property c) Vincent v. Lake Erie Transportation Co. (1910): NL but pay for damage ∆ is responsible for damages arising from private necessity. ∆ tied boat to P’s dock during storm and damages dock. Lawfully tied so not a trespass, but a forced transaction because ∆ still has to pay for damage done.
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