The principal case and the comparative cases cited clearly take different views on the responsibility of a landowner to control the behavior of its customers. Where do DIRT readers stand?

NUISANCE; LANDOWNER'S LIABILITY FOR CUSTOMER'S ACTS: Defendant truck stop is not liable to neighboring plaintiff for truck stop customers who trespass on plaintiff's property or parked on the right of way easement granted by plaintiff to defendant, absent special obligations in the deed or easement documents. Shapera v. Hasselback, 630 N.Y.S.2d 162 (App. Div. 1995).

The court comments that these actions were simple trespases for which the customers themselves were liable. It indicates that liability could have arisen if the deed or easement had contained affirmative obligations by defendant to prevent its customers from trespassing or parking on the right of way. To protect itself, apparently, the neighbor had erected a log fence barrier, which the landowner defendant here tore down on the grounds that its easement over the neighbor's property prohibited fences. The lower court had held the landowner had the duty to maintain the fence as a reasonable step to accomodate the neighbor. Not so, says the court here.

Compare: Klimdowski v. De La Torre, 8857 P2d 392 (Ariz. App. 1993) (Landlord of month to month tenant is liable for nuisance damages caused by that tenant in the event that landlord, with knowledge of the nuisance, fails either to control tenant or or terminate tenant's occupancy); Housing Authority of City and County of San Francisco v. Aguila, 18 Cal. Rptr. 2d 218 (Cal. App. 1993) (Authority may be liable for noise and other adverse impacts on neighbors of housing project caused by project tenants, their guests, and others attracted to site where authority does not take reasonable steps to prevent such impacts.)

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