Minnesota Supreme Court - 499 N.W.2d 472
The case involves a plaintiff who became quadriplegic after diving into shallow water while on a private boat. The plaintiff sued the boat owner, claiming that the owner had a duty to warn him of the shallow water. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the owner, but the court of appeals reversed, holding that the owner had a duty to warn. However, the majority opinion of the court of appeals was then reversed, and the judgment was reinstated in favor of the owner. The issue on appeal was whether a boat owner who is a social host owes a duty of care to warn a guest on the boat that the water is too shallow for diving. The court found that there was no special relationship between the parties that would impose a duty on the boat owner to act for the plaintiff's protection. Additionally, the plaintiff was not deprived of opportunities to protect himself, and the boat owner was not expected to provide protection. Therefore, the boat owner had no duty to warn the plaintiff that the water was shallow, and the plaintiff had no reasonable expectation to look to the boat owner for protection. The court reversed the previous decision and reinstated the judgment in favor of the defendant.
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