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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Mary Scurlock and Carol Pennell owned neighboring vacation homes. In November 2000, Pennell’s house caught fire and was destroyed. Scurlock’s home was also damaged. Scurlock sued Pennell. Scurlock alleged that Pennell negligently left the house unlocked with the utilities on, which invited vagrants. Alternatively, Scurlock alleged that Pennell negligently entrusted her home to a third party who started the fire. Scurlock offered affidavits by two witnesses who said a U-Haul truck was parked in front of Scurlock’s house on the day of the fire, the garage doors were open, and the house lights were on. Pennell filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment. She filed an affidavit with this motion, in which she stated: she had not been to the home in the 10 months before the fire; she left the home in a secure condition; no one had permission to enter the property the day of the fire; and the only criminal activity at the house occurred 30 years ago when a stereo and speakers were stolen out of it. The trial court granted Pennell’s motion. HOLDING:Affirmed. Because Pennell filed a no-evidence summary judgment motion, the court states that it will ignore her affidavit except to the extent that it creates an issue of material fact. The court further explains that this case involves a complaint that a landowner failed to provide adequate security against the criminal conduct of starting the fire. Scurlock was injured by the criminal actions of a third part. She alleges that Pennell failed to exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate a foreseeable risk that criminal activity might occur. Even though this was not a premises-liability case, and Scurlock was not an invitee, the court follows a landowner/invitee theory in analyzing Scurlock’s negligence allegations. The considers whether Scurlock’s injury is of such a general character as might reasonably have been anticipated. Though Scurlock mentioned burglaries in the area, she did not offer any evidence of how recently these area burglaries had occurred, how many burglaries occurred, how similar the burglaries were to the criminal conduct at the Pennell home, the location of such burglaries, or whether the media publicized the burglaries so that Pennell would know or should have known about them. The court adds that, even assuming that criminal activity in the area raised a fact issue as to whether a general risk of criminal conduct exists, Scurlock offered no evidence that Pennell could foresee that Pennell herself would be the victim of the third-party criminal act of arson. The court then affirms summary judgment on the negligent entrustment claim, as that theory of liability applies only to chattels, not to real property. OPINION:Jane Bland, J.; Radack, C.J., Higley and Bland, JJ.

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