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Glaittli v. State2014 UT 30, 332 P. 3d 953 (July 15, 2014) 

Jul 15, 2014

The Utah Supreme Court held that a reservoir is not a “natural condition” within the meaning of Utah’s Governmental Immunity Act, Utah Code section 63G-7-301(5)(k). It reversed the Utah Court of Appeals’ decision because the court of appeals had erred in interpreting “natural condition” too broadly. Because the Jordanelle Reservoir was designed and created by human activity, it is not “natural” and does not fall within the natural condition exception to the waiver of immunity. Justice Lee concurred in the decision, explaining that he would interpret “natural condition” as used in the Governmental Immunity Act based on its premises liability counterpart, in which a “natural condition” is a “condition of land [that] has not been changed by any act of a human being.” Id. ¶ 36 (internal citation omitted) (J. Lee concurring).