Hand v. Butts

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtHARWOOD; HEFLIN
Citation270 So.2d 789,289 Ala. 653
Decision Date21 December 1972
PartiesGloria HAND v. W. L. BUTTS, Jr. SC 36.

Page 789

270 So.2d 789
289 Ala. 653
Gloria HAND
v.
W. L. BUTTS, Jr.
SC 36.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
Dec. 21, 1972.

[289 Ala. 654] William W. Smith, Birmingham, for appellant.

Edgar M. Elliott III, and Rives, Peterson, Pettus, Conway & Burge, Birmingham, for appellee.

HARWOOD, Justice.

The defendant's demurrer to plaintiff's complaint being sustained, plaintiff took a non suit with leave to appeal, which she timely perfected.

The complaint was in four counts, which are identical except for the dependent allegation of negligence and proximate cause [289 Ala. 655]

Page 790

with which each count concludes. We will therefore set out in full only Count I, and will state only the differing quo modos of the alleged negligence with which each count concludes.

'COUNT ONE

'Plaintiff claims of the Defendant Fifty Thousand and No/100 ($50,000.00) Dollars damages for this: Prior to March 1, 1968, the sister of Plaintiff, Norma Dunn, entered into a contract with Defendant to collect and dispose of Defendant's garbage on a regular basis, for a consideration; that Plaintiff's said sister had prior to said date and in accordance with her agreement with Defendant, collected and disposed of Defendant's garbage on a regular basis; that Defendant had requested that the amount due from Defendant to said sister of the Plaintiff for collecting and disposing of Defendant's garbage be collected at Defendant's residence at 329 23rd Ave., N.W., Center Point, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama; that on, to-wit, March 1, 1968, Plaintiff accompanied her said sister at said sister's request to Defendant's residence, as well as the residences of other person, for the purpose of collecting the amount due from Defendant to Plaintiff under said contract and agreement as Defendant had requested; that Plaintiff was employed by her said sister to assist her said sister in collecting the amount due; that while Plaintiff and her said sister were at the residence of Defendant at said time and for said purpose, at Defendant's request, Plaintiff fell on the driveway on Defendant's property and was injured as follows: (We omit the catalog of injuries) Plaintiff alleged that her injuries were the proximate result of the negligence of Defendant in this: Defendant negligently maintained said driveway on his property in an unsafe condition for persons using the same.

'COUNT TWO

'* * * The Defendant failed to use reasonable care in maintaining said driveway in a reasonably safe condition for persons invited by him to use said driveway.

'COUNT THREE

'* * * The Defendant negligently failed to provide a safe place for Plaintiff to go up on (sic) the premises of the Defendant at the request of the Defendant and of her said sister for the purpose of collecting the amount due from the Defendant for the services specified above.

'COUNT FOUR

'* * * The Defendant negligently allowed loose gravel to accumulate on said driveway and as a proximate result and consequence thereof, Plaintiff slipped and fell and suffered the injuries above described.'

A reading of the counts readily shows that the forepart of each count does not attempt to set out wrongful or negligent acts on the part of the defendant, but only allege facts showing that the plaintiff was a business invitee on the premises of the defendant at the time of her injury. Hence the counts aver a relationship out of which a duty arose on defendant's part of exercising reasonable...

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19 practice notes
  • State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Owen, No. 1961950.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • August 21, 1998
    ...v. Providence Hospital, 454 So.2d 496 (Ala.1984); see also Sungas, Inc. v. Perry, 450 So.2d 1085 (Ala.1984); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala.653, 270 So.2d 789 The dominant view is that, even though a factual analysis is required, the question whether a duty exists is essentially a question of law a......
  • Berkel and Co. Contractors, Inc. v. Providence Hosp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • April 20, 1984
    ...remains as to this third factor. In determining the existence of a duty, the trial court makes a legal decision. See, e.g., Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 270 So.2d 789 (1972) (duty is a question of law). Even though the third factor is in dispute, we agree with the trial court in this case t......
  • Berness v. Regency Square Associates, Ltd.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 2, 1987
    ...of reasonable care. Shaw v. City of Lipscomb, 380 So.2d 812, 814 (Ala.1980); Tice v. Tice, 361 So.2d 1051, 1052 (Ala.1978); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 656, 270 So.2d 789, 791 (1972). The law does not require the doing of a useless 454 So.2d at 1389. At first blush, these cases seem to sus......
  • Dominick v. Dixie Nat. Life Ins. Co., Nos. 85-7140
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 18, 1987
    ...of a duty to disclose is a legal question, Berkel & Co. Contractors v. Providence Hosp., 454 So.2d 496 (Ala.1984); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 270 So.2d 789 (1982), to be discerned "from the confidential relations of the parties or from the particular circumstances of the case." Ala. Code ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Owen, No. 1961950.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • August 21, 1998
    ...v. Providence Hospital, 454 So.2d 496 (Ala.1984); see also Sungas, Inc. v. Perry, 450 So.2d 1085 (Ala.1984); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala.653, 270 So.2d 789 The dominant view is that, even though a factual analysis is required, the question whether a duty exists is essentially a question of law a......
  • Berkel and Co. Contractors, Inc. v. Providence Hosp.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • April 20, 1984
    ...remains as to this third factor. In determining the existence of a duty, the trial court makes a legal decision. See, e.g., Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 270 So.2d 789 (1972) (duty is a question of law). Even though the third factor is in dispute, we agree with the trial court in this case t......
  • Berness v. Regency Square Associates, Ltd.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 2, 1987
    ...of reasonable care. Shaw v. City of Lipscomb, 380 So.2d 812, 814 (Ala.1980); Tice v. Tice, 361 So.2d 1051, 1052 (Ala.1978); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 656, 270 So.2d 789, 791 (1972). The law does not require the doing of a useless 454 So.2d at 1389. At first blush, these cases seem to sus......
  • Dominick v. Dixie Nat. Life Ins. Co., Nos. 85-7140
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • February 18, 1987
    ...of a duty to disclose is a legal question, Berkel & Co. Contractors v. Providence Hosp., 454 So.2d 496 (Ala.1984); Hand v. Butts, 289 Ala. 653, 270 So.2d 789 (1982), to be discerned "from the confidential relations of the parties or from the particular circumstances of the case." Ala. Code ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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