PSI Energy v. Roberts: Mesothelioma Case Analysis—Restatement of Torts
Read the Opinion in PSI Energy v. Roberts, in which the applicability of Section 343 of the Restatement of Torts (Second) is discussed. Roberts, an insulator by trade, was exposed to asbestos in his workplace, and was ultimately diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Our supreme court has held that the best definition of this duty comes from the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 343 (1965):
A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he knows or by the exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees, and
should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and
fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger.
Id. at 639-640 (emphasis added). Section 343 must be read together with Section 343A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts, which provides that:
A possessor of land is not liable to his invitees for physical harm caused to them by an activity or condition on the land whose danger is known or obvious to them, unless the possessor should anticipate the harm despite such knowledge or obviousness.
Douglass v. Irvin, 549 N.E.2d 368, 370 (Ind. 1990). In analyzing whether a landowner breached its duty to an invitee, we consider the purpose and intent of the invitation and the comparative knowledge of the parties. See footnote (hyperlink on last page) Merrill, 771 N.E.2d at 1265.
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