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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Negligence: Alarm Response – Exculpatory Clause – Willful And Wanton

Negligence: Alarm Response – Exculpatory Clause – Willful And Wanton

Where a plaintiff sued her security-alarm company, claiming that the defendant’s failure to respond to a low-temperature alarm resulted in a burst pipe and damage to her home, the district court erred in finding that the line between willful and wanton negligence and gross negligence was blurred, so the court misapplied Minnesota law, and judgment for the defendant is reversed because genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether the alarm company was willfully and wantonly negligent in failing to follow procedure after learning of the plaintiff’s low-temperature alarm.

Judgment is reversed and remanded.

Gage v. HSM Electronic Protection Services, Inc. (MLW No. 62789/Case No. 10-2545 – 12 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Bye, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Montgomery, J. (Steven L. Theesfeld, Minneapolis, argued for appellant; Lawrence M. Baill appeared on the brief) (Wendy M. Canaday, Minneapolis, argued for appellee; Sara Daggett appeared on the brief).

Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)