Field v. Sisters of Mercy of Colo., No. 16699

Docket NºNo. 16699
Citation245 P.2d 1167, 126 Colo. 1
Case DateJune 16, 1952
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 1167

245 P.2d 1167
126 Colo. 1
FIELD

v.
SISTERS OF MERCY OF COLORADO.
No. 16699.
Supreme Court of Colorado, en Banc.
June 16, 1952.
Rehearing Denied July 7, 1952.

[126 Colo. 2]

Page 1168

McDougal & Klingsmith, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Bannister, Weller & Friedrich, William H. Hazlitt, Denver, for defendant in error.

HOLLAND, Justice.

Plaintiff in error, plaintiff below, filed her complaint against defendant alleging that on February 11, 1949, during the regular visiting hours, she entered Mercy Hospital to visit a sick friend she supposed was there; that while crossing the lobby from the reception desk to the elevators, she tripped and fell over a suitcase left in the pathway and was injured by the fall; that it was late in the afternoon and defendant negligently and carelessly allowed the reception room to remain in semidarkness, making it impossible for plaintiff to observe the suitcase [126 Colo. 3] on the floor; that the suitcase was directly in the path a person would use walking from the reception desk to the elevators; and that defendant was negligent in allowing the suitcase to be placed there. An amendment to the complaint was allowed in the following words, '* * * and defendant knew, or by the exercise of reasonable care, should have known the said suitcase was so placed.'

A motion for dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted was denied and defendant, Sisters of Mercy, answered, admitting that plaintiff was involved in an accident in the hospital; denied all other allegations of the complaint; and set up the affirmative defenses of contributory negligence, unavoidable accident, and assumption of risk. The answer contained no allegation of any specific facts.

Plaintiff's deposition was taken by defendant and is narrated as follows: She received a telephone call from a Mrs. Oatis telling her that she was in the hospital and that the nuns were taking care of her; the name of the hospital was not mentioned and plaintiff assumed, since it was a Catholic hospital, that it was Mercy Hospital, operated by defendants, because that was the closest hospital to the home of Mrs. Oatis. It was late in the afternoon and she heard a radio broadcast that a storm was expected; she thought the battery in her automobile needed charging; and she decided to drive over to the hospital, which drive would charge the battery and she could call on her sick friend. When she arrived at the hospital there were some people in the lobby talking with the hospital registration clerk; plaintiff had to go around one of the posts in the lobby and the light from the door was obstructed by the people; that she could not see anything; that she was aware of the darkness; that it was sufficiently dark to prevent her seeing anything that might be in her path; that she decided to go down this darkened pathway to the elevators and make inquiry of the elevator pilot as to where her friend was located. She did not stop at the information desk, or wait, or make inquiry. She tripped [126 Colo. 4] over the suitcase and the fall caused severe injury to her arm and shoulder; that one of the sisters of the hospital took hold of her arm to assist her in getting up and she complains that that caused her further injury; that she was hospitalized overnight and released the next day, driving her car to her home; all of which was aggravation to the injury she had received.

It developed that Mrs. Oatis, plaintiff's sick friend, was not a patient in Mercy Hospital and was not there. With the pleadings and this deposition before the court, defendant moved for summary judgment. The court informed that if defendant admitted the allegations of the complaint, and admitted plaintiff's testimony of the deposition, for the purpose of the motion, such admissions would be final and binding upon defendant thereafter....

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14 practice notes
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...Nettrour v. J. C. Penney Co., 146 Colo. 150, 360 P.2d 964; Drake v. Lerner Shops, 145 Colo. 1, 357 P.2d 624; Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167; Hooker v. Routt Realty Co., 102 Colo. 8, 76 P.2d 431; Gotch v. K. & B. Packing & Provision Co., 93 Colo. 276, 25 P.2d 719; Aver......
  • Van Schaack v. Phipps, No. 75--573
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 22, 1976
    ...failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted may be entered upon a motion for summary judgment. Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167; Smith v. Mills, 123 Colo. 11, 225 P.2d 483. But such judgment must specifically disclose that there is no genuine issue as to a......
  • North Broward Hospital Dist. v. Adams, No. 2030
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • July 11, 1962
    ...to produce any authority for the defendants' contentions, with the exception of the case of Field v. Sisters of Mercy of Colorado, 1952, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167. With the exception of the Colorado decision, all of the remaining American jurisdictions uniformly hold that a visitor to a pa......
  • Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, Inc., Court of Appeals No. 14CA1816
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • January 14, 2016
    ...judgment stage, "the facts pleaded must, on their face, be sufficient to sustain a cause of action." Field v. Sisters of Mercy of Colo., 126 Colo. 1, 6, 245 P.2d 1167, 1169 (1952), overruled on other grounds by 411 P.3d 167 Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 175 Colo. 537, 543–44, 548, 489 P.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...Nettrour v. J. C. Penney Co., 146 Colo. 150, 360 P.2d 964; Drake v. Lerner Shops, 145 Colo. 1, 357 P.2d 624; Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167; Hooker v. Routt Realty Co., 102 Colo. 8, 76 P.2d 431; Gotch v. K. & B. Packing & Provision Co., 93 Colo. 276, 25 P.2d 719; Aver......
  • Van Schaack v. Phipps, No. 75--573
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • July 22, 1976
    ...failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted may be entered upon a motion for summary judgment. Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167; Smith v. Mills, 123 Colo. 11, 225 P.2d 483. But such judgment must specifically disclose that there is no genuine issue as to a......
  • North Broward Hospital Dist. v. Adams, No. 2030
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • July 11, 1962
    ...to produce any authority for the defendants' contentions, with the exception of the case of Field v. Sisters of Mercy of Colorado, 1952, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167. With the exception of the Colorado decision, all of the remaining American jurisdictions uniformly hold that a visitor to a pa......
  • Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, Inc., Court of Appeals No. 14CA1816
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • January 14, 2016
    ...judgment stage, "the facts pleaded must, on their face, be sufficient to sustain a cause of action." Field v. Sisters of Mercy of Colo., 126 Colo. 1, 6, 245 P.2d 1167, 1169 (1952), overruled on other grounds by 411 P.3d 167 Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 175 Colo. 537, 543–44, 548, 489 P.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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