“My dream is to have the park system privatized, and run entirely for profit by corporations. Like Chuck E. Cheese.” – Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation. People can sue governments for injuries occurring at a 1) “public” 2) “facility” 3) “located in” a 4) “recreation area.” The Court defined those 4 terms as follows: 1) accessible and benefiting the public; 2) includes parking lots; 3) promotes recreation; and 4) an area whose primary purpose is recreation. Here, a parking lot next to a public golf course met the criteria. The parking lot was accessible to the public, allowed golfers to conveniently access the course, and golfing was the primary recreational purpose promoted by the lot. The city was not immune from plaintiff’s suit arising from her injury in the parking lot. Two justices would arrive at the same conclusion, but by allowing the city’s designation to drive the analysis.
Tag Archives: Parking Lot
In the movie Philadelphia, Tom Hank’s character first meets his lawyer, Denzel Washington, as Denzel is on the phone with a potential client who wants to sue after stepping into a clearly marked hole in a city street; Denzel suggested he had a case. But, holes in streets are not the same as holes in parking lots. In this case, the trial court concluded the plaintiff could sue for an injury caused by a hole in a public parking lot. The court of appeals disagreed and held a city is immune from suit for injuries occurring in a public parking lot that services a public golf course. Colorado waives governmental immunity for personal injuries, and thus subjects cities to lawsuits for injuries caused by dangerous conditions in any park or recreation area, public streets, or public buildings. A parking lot is none of these, so the city was immune from suit. Plaintiff’s case was dismissed.