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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Giovanna Carboniero Cestonaro, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Danielle Cestonaro, Appellant v. United States of America

Headnote

Plaintiff and her husband were returning to their car which was parked in an unofficial parking lot. The couple were confronted by two two armed gun men, who shot and killed plaintiff’s husband. The National Park Service (NPS) owned the lot in which the incident occurred. The plaintiff sued the NPS for failing to adequately light and police the lot. The NPS argued that their non-maintenance of the lot was a conscious choice in furtherance of a general aesthetic goal. Should courts treat any coherent, agency objective as a part of policy? Also, should courts mostly defer to an agency’s stated policy goals when assessing the “discretionary activity” exception?