State Found Liable For Beating on UT Campus

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has affirmed an en banc ruling of the Tennessee Claims Commission and ruled that the the State was liable for damages suffered by a college student as a result of being beaten after she left a parking garage on the University of Tennessee campus.

To reach that result, the Court first held that the McClung decision was applicable to the State of Tennessee.  The Court then examined the evidence and determined that the plaintiff met the burden of proving that "(1) that there was a negligently created or maintained dangerous condition on state controlled real property; (2) the risk was foreseeable; and (3) that notice was given to the proper state officials at a time sufficiently prior to the injury for the state to have taken appropriate measures."  Finally, the Court found that legal cause was present under the facts.

The decision is a nice reminder of what a plaintiff must prove to impose liability on a premises owner for failure to guard against criminal conduct by third persons.  Read the opinion here.