By Doyice Cotten
The issue as to whether an activity or mode of transportation is a common carrier can determine the duty owed to passengers. A recent California case (Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Inc., 2017), addressed the issue of whether a hot air balloon is a common carrier. The court defined a common carrier of persons as anyone “who offers to the public to carry persons.” (Civ. Code, § 2168.)
The duty that a common carrier owes to its clientele depends upon whether the ride is gratuitous or if there is a fee charged.