Stoned Skater Can Sue County

A teenager stoned on marijuana enters a public park after closing, rides his skateboard down a driveway on a moonless night and crashes into a locked gate.

And then he sues Santa Cruz [CA] County for his injuries because he didn't see the gate coming.

Seventeen-year old Angelo Seaver's blame-the-government strategy didn't go far with a trial judge, but it did win over a three-judge appellate panel.

On Friday, [California's] 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose ruled that because Seaver was riding his skateboard for transportation, not to perform stunts, he was not engaged in a "hazardous recreational activity."

And the panel found that because there were no signs, reflectors or lighting to help Seaver see the gate, the county created a "dangerous condition of public property."

Because he was riding for transportation rather than sport, the "primary assumption of the risk doctrine" did not apply to bar his claims as a matter of law, the Court held.

The quotation above is from a May 3 article in the San Francisco Daily Journal by Peter Blumberg, but it is not available online. Instead, you can read the Court's unpublished opinion here.