Court of Appeal holds that GMSR’s landlord clients had no duty to inspect tenants’ unit for dangerous bombmaking activities

Garcia v. Holt (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 600 (California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One) [published]. GMSR’s landlord clients rented their single family home to a couple month to month. The landlords had no reason to suspect that one of the tenants was manufacturing and storing – behind closed doors and curtains – the largest cache of homemade explosives ever discovered in the United States. The plaintiff was a gardener whom the landlords had hired to maintain the property. Walking outside the home in an area where he had walked countless times before, he triggered an explosion that seriously injured him. He and his wife sued the landlords on the theory that residential landlords in a month-to-month tenancy have a duty to periodically inspect their property to ensure that their tenants are not engaging in dangerous activities. The trial court granted summary judgment to the landlords.

The Court of Appeal affirmed. It adhered to an existing bright-line rule that residential landlords owe no duty to ferret out tenants’ dangerous activities unless they have both actual knowledge of the dangerous activities and the contractual right to eliminate them.

View Opinion

ABC News: California Man Had Bomb Factory In His Home, Say Prosecutors

ABC News: San Diego ‘Bomb Factory’ Man Gets 30 Years In Prison