Torts I

Lubitz v. Wells

Superior Court of Connecticut, 1955


The defendant left his golf club lying in his backyard. His eleven-year-old son then found it and began playing with it. Wells's son accidentally hit Lubitz, a nine-year-old friend in the jaw with the club.

Procedural History:

Defendant won initially.


Should a golf club be known to cause damage if left unattended by children?

Plaintiff's Argument:

Defendant should be liable because he should have known children could injure one another with a golf club.

Defendant's Argument:

Defendant should not be liable because he could no reasonably foresee such an injury resulting from leaving his golf club on the ground.


  • A golf club is not an intrinsically dangerous object.

  • Bell's broad: A person does not breach his duty if a danger is not reasonably foreseeable.

  • Bell's narrow: If an object is not intrinsically dangerous, one does not breach his duty.


As the golf club itself is not intrinsically dangerous, it cannot be assumed that such an injury could be reasonably foreseen.


No, a golf club is not dangerous enough to make one liable for just leaving it on the ground.


Some objects are and some are not intrinsically dangerous enough to make on liable for leaving them accessible.


Demurrer – Objection to the legal sufficiency without affirming or denying (no cause of action presented)