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The Negligence Issue is Analyzed

Kevin Allen was the owner and manager of an apartment building in Chicago, Illinois. Marybeth Duncavage, a second-year medical student, entered into an agreement with Allen for the rental of Apartment 1-W. She moved into the apartment on August 1. About 3 am on August 4, Tommy Jackson came into the rear yard adjacent to Apartment 1-W and concealed himself in an unlighted area and in the tall weeds. Using a ladder that Allen had stored adjacent to DuncavageĆ¢??s apartment, Jackson climbed the building wall and entered Apartment 1-W through a window that was incapable of being locked. Once inside the apartment, Jackson tied up Duncavage, repeatedly raped and sodomized her, and then strangled her to death. Allen was aware that the ladder had been used on an earlier occasion to burglarize the same apartment through the same unlockable window and that it was still accessible to unauthorized persons on the property. Marybeth Duncavage's father, as the administrator of her estate, brought an action for negligence against Allen.

ISSUE: Under the circumstances, did Allen owe Duncavage a duty to protect her against the criminal conduct that resulted in her death?

Class, you are the JUDGE assigned to this case. How would you rule?

Solution Preview

If I were the judge assigned to this case, I would rule that Allen was negligent due to her failure to fix the window that was incapable of being locked before allowing a ...