How have defendants defended their actions in a civil action brought by a plaintiff who alleges they failed to properly raise the railing to comply with the current code requirements?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from Reyes v. Grp. X Rosemead Props., LP, B253700 (Cal. App. 2015):

Defendants contend they had no duty to raise the railing to comply with current code requirements, and the railing substantially complied with the applicable code inasmuch as the one-half inch deviation was minor, trivial or insignificant. Defendants cite the well-established principle that a property owner is not liable for damages caused by a minor defect in property. (Whiting v. City of National City (1937) 9 Cal.2d 163, 166.) "Courts have referred to this simple principle as the 'trivial defect defense,' although it is not an affirmative defense but rather an aspect of duty that plaintiff must plead and prove. . . . [Citation.] . . . [Citation.] The question . . . is not whether [defendant] established a complete defense, but whether plaintiffs showed there is a triable issue as to whether there was a dangerous condition . . . that [defendant] had a duty to repair." (Caloroso v. Hathaway (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 922, 927.)

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