Elardo, Bragg, Appel & Rossi

Homeowner Not Liable for Fight at Party

Wickham v. Hopkins, 226 Ariz. 468, 250 P.3d 245 (App. Div. 1 2011)

At a party Tricia Hopkins held while her parents were on vacation, Wickham got into a verbal confrontation with another partygoer that continued on the street after they left. Wickham was injured and sued the Hopkins. On appeal from summary judgment for the Hopkins, the Court examined (1) the relationship between parties and (2) public policy considerations and found there were no facts in the record to indicate the Hopkins voluntarily undertook to protect Wickham after he left the premises and no compelling public policy argument for imposition of a duty of reasonable care. The landowner-licensee relationship terminated when Wickham left the property and, even as a licensee, the Hopkins owed Wickham no duty “other than to refrain from knowingly letting him run upon a hidden peril or wantonly or willfully causing him harm.”