From the Docket: Attack of the Bulb

LTB default 777x437

Eric Wright v. Alliance Residential LLC, Case No. RG10-519746 (filed June 10, 2010).

Premises liability action where the plaintiff was hit in the head by a light bulb in his kitchen at The Courtyards apartments in Emeryville [California]. The plaintiff was so stunned by the bulb that he fell down and sustained a concussion.

You know, I've been warning people for years about dangerous light bulbs that may leap out of their sockets and attack homeowners without warning.  Maybe now people will listen.

On the other hand, this is apparently a premises-liability action, so maybe the plaintiff is alleging negligent light-fixture placement, although it is hard to see how you could be unaware of the placement of any light bulb in your own kitchen.  I think there are only two possibilities here, depending on the on/off status of said light bulb: (1) the light was off, and the room was dark, which might explain why plaintiff ran into the bulb but also suggests it was his fault; or (2) the light was on, in which case plaintiff is claiming that he walked directly into a brightly illuminated object.  (As the tiny psychic said in Poltergeist, don't go into the light.)  It would be difficult for plaintiff to prevail in either of those situations, which may be why the lawsuit appears to blame the bulb itself.

Whether the building owner is responsible for the bulb's actions I think depends on whether the bulb was acting as an employee or an independent contractor, but since I am not an employment lawyer I will leave that question to others.