Husser v. School Dist. No. 11 in El Paso County, No. 20814

Docket NºNo. 20814
Citation413 P.2d 906, 159 Colo. 590
Case DateApril 25, 1966
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 906

413 P.2d 906
159 Colo. 590
Orle E. HUSSER, Plaintiff in Error,
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 11 IN the COUNTY OF EL PASO and State of
Colorado, and William H. Preston, Defendants in Error.
No. 20814.
Supreme Court of Colorado, In Department.
April 25, 1966.
Rehearing Denied May 23, 1966.

[159 Colo. 591]

Page 907

Edwin Strand, Otto K. Hilbert, Colorado Springs, for plaintiff in error.

Murray, Baker & Wendelken, Colorado Springs, for defendant in error School Dist. No. 11 in El Paso County.

Rector & Kane, Colorado Springs, for defendant in error William H. Preston.

[159 Colo. 592] FRANTZ, Justice.

Husser sued the School District and Preston for damages for personal injuries which, he alleged, resulted from the negligence of the defendants. Besides the general issue, the defendants pled affirmative defenses of contributory negligence, assumption of risk, and unavoidable accident.

At the conclusion of the evidence, the defendants moved for a directed verdict, and the trial court, in granting the motion stated:

'The Court orders a verdict in favor of the defendant, William Preston, for the reason no negligence is shown on his part for the reason he owed no duty to the plaintiff. It also follows then that the Court directs a verdict in favor of School District No. 11. Inasmuch as this is a ruling upon the law and not upon the facts the Court would declare that this is a final order, and that it is not necessary for the plaintiff to file any motion for new trials or rehearings. * * *'

The undisputed facts show that Husser was the owner and operator of a florist shop with his wife as copartner. On the 29th of November, 1959--a bright fall Sunday--Husser, in response to an order previously

Page 908

placed with his shop, delivered two floral displays to the district's new high school auditorium in Colorado Springs for the dedication ceremony which was to take place on that day. Husser attempted to enter the building but found the door locked. After a short time, defendant Preston, principal of the school, appeared from inside the building and bade him enter. Husser then proceeded to water the displays in the foyer and prepare them for placement.

At this point the testimony becomes conflicting.

Husser testified that Preston told him the building was so new he did not know where to turn on the lights in the auditorium. Preston denied this, and said that he told Husser to leave the displays in the foyer but that Husser insisted on putting them on the stage. Preston [159 Colo. 593] did agree, however, that he undertook to lead Husser to the stage and that, upon their arrival, he, Preston, stepped aside and allowed Husser to go past him and a rostrum in the center of the stage. At this point, Husser, in pivoting and shifting his weight to his side and back, fell into the orchestra pit.

In his testimony, Husser stated that the auditorium was dark, but that there was some light coming from aisle chair lamps and from what he termed a skylight or an overhead artificial light on the stage. He testified that he could see the stage as he approached it down the center aisle, and that he could also see the rostrum in the center of the stage, but that he could not and did not see the orchestra pit once he was upon the stage.

Was Husser, under the...

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6 practice notes
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...caused by a dangerous condition while the work is in his charge. 2 Restatement of Torts 2d, §§ 383, 384. 2 Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d 906; Colo.-Wyo. Ry. Co. v. Wheelock Bros. Co., 155 Colo. 406, 395 P.2d 1; Staley v. Security Athletic Assoc., 152 Colo. 19, 380 P......
  • Vigil v. Franklin, No. 03SC479.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 30, 2004
    ...landowner liability turned on the status of the plaintiff — invitee, licensee, or trespasser. See, e.g., Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d 906 (1966). In that year, this court overturned that formula and reinstated general negligence principles for assessment of landown......
  • Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, No. 94SC595
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 28, 1995
    ...own convenience or to advance the person's own interests, with the permission or consent of the landowner. Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 594-95, 413 P.2d 906, 909 (1966). In contrast, an invitee was defined as a person who enters or occupies property of another for the purpo......
  • SW v. Towers Boat Club, Inc., No. 11CA0935.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • April 26, 2012
    ...party was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. See [Mile High Fence, 175 Colo. at 541, 489 P.2d at 311]; Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 593, 413 P.2d 906, 908 (1966). Under the common law, the landowner's liability depended exclusively upon the injured party's status. For exa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...caused by a dangerous condition while the work is in his charge. 2 Restatement of Torts 2d, §§ 383, 384. 2 Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d 906; Colo.-Wyo. Ry. Co. v. Wheelock Bros. Co., 155 Colo. 406, 395 P.2d 1; Staley v. Security Athletic Assoc., 152 Colo. 19, 380 P......
  • Vigil v. Franklin, No. 03SC479.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 30, 2004
    ...landowner liability turned on the status of the plaintiff — invitee, licensee, or trespasser. See, e.g., Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d 906 (1966). In that year, this court overturned that formula and reinstated general negligence principles for assessment of landown......
  • Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, No. 94SC595
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 28, 1995
    ...own convenience or to advance the person's own interests, with the permission or consent of the landowner. Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 594-95, 413 P.2d 906, 909 (1966). In contrast, an invitee was defined as a person who enters or occupies property of another for the purpo......
  • SW v. Towers Boat Club, Inc., No. 11CA0935.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • April 26, 2012
    ...party was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. See [Mile High Fence, 175 Colo. at 541, 489 P.2d at 311]; Husser v. School Dist. No. 11, 159 Colo. 590, 593, 413 P.2d 906, 908 (1966). Under the common law, the landowner's liability depended exclusively upon the injured party's status. For exa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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