Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his complaint filed on behalf of his minor son. Plaintiff’s three-year-old son suffered severe head injuries when a soccer goal at Little Rock Air Force Base, where plaintiff was stationed and lived with his family, tipped over on top of him. Plaintiff filed suit, claiming that the Air Force negligently failed to secure the goal to the ground and to warn people of the potential danger. The district court granted the government’s motion to dismiss, ruling that it could not be liable under the FTCA due to Arkansas’ recreational use statute that immunized landowners who allowed others to use their property for recreational purposes.
Where Arkansas’ soccer goal safety statute had no enforcement mechanism, it was not a “more specific” statute that took precedence over the recreational use statute, and plaintiff’s claims still failed because the recreational use statute also required proof of a landowner’s malice.
Judgment is affirmed.
Hutchinson v. U.S. (MLW No. 80126/Case No. 22-2126 – 10 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Stras, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Moody, J. (Thomas Allen Kroeger, of Coral Gables, FL for appellant; John Paul Byrd, of Little Rock, AR; Joseph D. Gates, of Little Rock, AR; Julie Braman Kane, of Coral Gables, FL; and Stephanie A. Casey, of Coral Gables, FL on the brief) (Lindsey Mitcham Lorence, AUSA, of Little Rock, AR for appellee; Shannon S. Smith, AUSA, of Little Rock, AR on the brief)