Miller v. Civil Constructors, Inc.
COA IL - 1995
- P was injured when a stray bullet ricocheted during the course of firearm practice in a nearby gravel pit and caused him to fall from a truck.
- P alleged that the Ds should be strictly liable since the injuries arose from an ultra-hazardous activity.
- Trial court found for D, no strict liability.
- IL COA affirmed, no strict liability.
- What factors should be applied to determine if an activity is abnormally dangerous?
- Section 520 of the Restatement sets out several factors to consider in determining if an activity is abnormally dangerous…
- Existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land, or chattels of others
- Likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great
- Inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care
- Extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage
- Inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried out
- Extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes
- The presence of more than one factor, but not all of them, will be necessary to declare the activity ultra-hazardous as a matter of law so as to hold the actor strictly liable.
- The risk of harm can be virtually eliminated by the exercise of reasonable or even utmost care under the circumstances.
- The use of firearms if a matter of common usage and the harm posed comes from their misuse rather than from their inherent nature alone.
- The activity in this case was carried on at a firing range in a quarry located somewhere near the city of Freeport (an appropriate place).
- The target practice is of some social utility to the community since law enforcement officers were improving their weapon skills.