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Four-wheeler lawsuit against city

Published 10:18pm Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Suffolk man is suing the city after he says he was injured while riding his four-wheeler along an abandoned railroad right-of-way.

David Rezendes, in a case against the city and an adjacent property owner, claims he suffered injuries when he drove his four-wheeler into a cable strung across the path on March 21, 2011. The cable was not marked with any flags or other warnings, the lawsuit states.

Rezendes is seeking $3 million in damages from the city and 5 Pines Corp., which the lawsuit says owns the property to the east and west of the path, which is in a wooded tract off Nansemond Parkway.

The lawsuit originally was filed against a third defendant, Swain and Temple, which was logging nearby property, but the company was dismissed from the lawsuit.

In the most recent hearing on the lawsuit, demurrers filed by the city and 5 Pines were denied. The city said it could be barred by sovereign immunity, governmental immunity or immunity, and said the plaintiff failed to state a claim and failed to show the city breached its duty of care. The case may also be covered under the “doctrine of contributory negligence,” according to the city’s demurrer.

Meanwhile, 5 Pines claims it did not actually own the property where the incident occurred and therefore cannot be held liable.

According to the lawsuit, Rezendes lay unconscious for several hours after the accident until a group of children playing in the area found him.

The lawsuit says landowners have a duty to ensure the land is free from hazards, especially if they know trespassers frequent the property.

The next hearing in the case has not yet been scheduled.

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  • DHunt100

    This is the definition of stupid. He can ride his 4-wheeler on private property, get hurt and sue. I have property with ground hog holes, so can some trespasser step in one, break his leg and sue me? If you buy a 4-wheeler you should ride on your own property. If you don’t have property to ride then why buy one?

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  • chief601

    “The lawsuit says landowners have a duty to ensure the land is free from hazards, especially if they know trespassers frequent the property.”

    I guess we’ll get sued by a thief if they get cut on glass breaking into our houses. And the judge hasn’t thrown this nonsense out yet? I hope this moron doesn’t get a penny.

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  • Starzz

    Classic example of just how jacked up our legal system really is. This should not have been allowed at any level.

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  • Granjem

    Total absurdity! I would love to be on the jury hearing this case….if it gets that far.

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  • SANSR

    “The lawsuit says landowners have a duty to ensure the land is free from hazards, especially if they know trespassers frequent the property.”

    Tort reform, anybody?

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  • KNRMCO

    AS A PROPERTY OWNER I AM APPALLED THAT THE “TRESPASSER” HAS THE RIGHT TO SUE THE PROPERTY OWNER WHEN HE CLEARLY ADMITS TO TRESPASSING. WHAT’S NEXT..BIT BY A DOG FROM THE HOUSE YOU ARE ROBBING?

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    • Savannah

      Oh yes, KNRMCO, people have sued for that sort of thing, and I do believe they’ve won. I dunno about Suffolk, but it has happened in the US.

      *edit- Yup, run a Google search for sued by burglar for dog bite?

      System is deep broke. People are allowed to break the law all the time. Criminals and those disregarding laws have more rights than those following the rules do these days, whether you have signs up, etc. It’s disgusting.

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  • ncarolinacountry

    A trespasser is suing because he got hurt trespassing on private property…. Really ..!!!
    That’s some nerve!!
    Hope her gets what’s coming .. …A trespassing charge.

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