Idaho store not responsible for sidewalk

Jessica M. Karmasek Jun. 2, 2011, 12:43pm


BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline) - The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday that a shopping center tenant did not owe its shoppers a duty to keep a sidewalk reasonably safe when the sidewalk was not part of its leased premises.

The Court, in its 13-page opinion, affirmed the decision of the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Twin Falls County, in favor of Sportsman's Warehouse.

Eileen Ann McDevitt, the plaintiff in the case, tripped and fell on a recessed irrigation box on the sidewalk outside Sportsman's, located in a shopping center in Twin Falls, Idaho.

McDevitt then filed a lawsuit against Sportsman's and several other defendants to recover for her injuries.

The district court granted summary judgment to Sportsman's, finding that as a tenant in a multi-tenant shopping center, it owed no duty to invitees to keep the sidewalk that was not part of its leased premises reasonably safe or to warn of hazards.

McDevitt appealed to the state's high court.

Justice Warren E. Jones, who wrote the Court's opinion, said Sportsman's does not exercise control over the sidewalk.

"Sportsman's did not create the hazard on the sidewalk because Idaho Scapes (Inc.) installed the irrigation box, and Eckman & Mitchell (Construction LLC) later poured the sidewalk around it, and under the lease it was Canyon Park (LLC)'s responsibility to construct the common areas," the Court wrote.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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