June 25, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Natural Condition of Unimproved Property Caused Injuries so CGIA Applies

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Burnett v. State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources on Monday, March 23, 2015.

Colorado Governmental Immunity Act—Statutory Interpretation.

In this appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the government retained immunity when a tree branch fell on plaintiff in a designated campsite at a state park. The court of appeals held that under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, the fallen branch was a “natural condition of . . . unimproved property,” and thus the government was immune from suit. The Court agreed. Under CRS § 24-10-106(1)(e), a “natural condition of . . . unimproved property” includes native trees that originate on unimproved property. Because a branch from such a tree caused plaintiff’s injuries here, the natural condition provision immunized the government.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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