Keeran v. Spurgeon Mercantile Co., No. 34763.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtFAVILLE
Citation194 Iowa 1240,191 N.W. 99
Docket NumberNo. 34763.
Decision Date15 December 1922
PartiesKEERAN v. SPURGEON MERCANTILE CO.

194 Iowa 1240
191 N.W. 99

KEERAN
v.
SPURGEON MERCANTILE CO.

No. 34763.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Dec. 15, 1922.


Appeal from District Court, Page County; Earl Peters, Judge.

Action for damages for personal injuries to plaintiff by falling down a stairway in the store of the defendant. The court directed a verdict for the defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Affirmed.

[191 N.W. 99]

Tinley, Mitchell, Ross & Mitchell, of Council Bluffs, for appellant.

Ferguson, Barnes & Ferguson, of Shenandoah, for appellee.


FAVILLE, J.

The appellee is a corporation engaged in the business of conducting a store in the city of Shenandoah. The appellant is an optometrist residing in Clarinda. On November 20, 1920, the appellant went into the store of the appellee some time the fore part of the day and spoke to a lady clerk, and told her he wanted to leave his grips there for a little while, and she said, “All right.” He said to the clerk, “Do you have a place where I could hang up my overcoat where it would be out of the way?” and she replied, “Yes,” and took the coat and went back toward the southwest corner of the room, and opened a door and hung it up. The appellant watched her as she did this. He then went out of the store, and did not return until later in the afternoon, when he entered the store, and saw the same clerk to whom he had spoken in the morning, and the following took place, according to his testimony:

“When I went back I saw the same lady, Mrs. Hamilton. I said to her, ‘I will have my coat now.’ She said, ‘Well,’ she says, ‘You know where I put it.’ She was waiting on a customer not over 15 feet away, and I says, ‘I guess I will have my coat now.’ She says, ‘You know where I put it.’ I says, ‘Yes; I saw you hang it up in that little room back there;’ and she said, ‘Yes.’ ”

Appellant then started to go to the place where he had seen the coat put by the clerk. This was in the corner of the room, and was behind the counter and at a place where customers in the store did not go. Appellant opened the door. This door opened on a stairway which led to a basement, the vertical distance being about 10 feet. The appellant stepped through the doorway and fell to the basement, and received the injuries of which complaint is made. There is evidence tending to show that the stairway was unlighted and was dark. Appellant also testified that upon his return to the store at the time he received the injury it was his intention to purchase a suit of clothes before leaving the store. He did not make this intention known to any person connected with the store, and there is no allegation

[191 N.W. 100]

or proof in the record that the appellee sold clothing in said store. The foregoing is the substance of the entire testimony in the case material to the questions of law involved.

I. The case turns chiefly upon the question as to whether or not at the time of the injury appellant was a licensee or an invitee, and what duty, if any, the appellee owed to the appellant under the circumstances disclosed. The duty which one owes to a licensee is separate and distinct from the duty one owes an invitee. The difficulty lies in applying the general rules to the facts of any particular case. In Wilsey v. Jewett Bros. & Co., 122 Iowa, 315, 98 N. W. 114, we said:

“It may be stated as a general rule of law that the owner or occupier of real property is under no obligation to make it safe or to keep it in any particular condition for the benefit of trespassers, intruders, mere volunteers, or bare licensees, coming upon it without his invitation, express or implied. The corollary follows that an owner or occupier who expressly or impliedly invites the public, or particular members of it, to come upon his premises, assumes the duty toward them of exercising reasonable care to the end that such premises shall not contain dangerous obstructions, pitfalls, and the like, which may result in their injury.”

[1] If one goes upon premises without invitation, express or implied, the owner or occupant thereof is under no duty to look out for his safety, and if he be injured through the negligence of the owner or occupant while...

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45 practice notes
  • Henry v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 30455
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 27 Marzo 1933
    ...Neb. 24; John D. McCaffrey v. Concord Electric Co., 114 A. 397; Key West Elec. Co. v. Roberts, 89 So. 122; Keeron v. Spurgeon Merc. Co., 194 Iowa 1240; Lunsford v. Colonial Coal & Coke Co., 115 Va. 346; Lewko v. Krause Milling Co. (Wis.), 190 N.W. 924; L. & N. R. R. Co. v. Daniels, 135 Miss......
  • Fort Dodge Hotel Co. v. Bartelt, No. 11858.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 23 Abril 1941
    ...trial. --------Notes: 1 Downing v. Merchants' Nat. Bank, 192 Iowa 1250, 184 N.W. 722, 20 A.L.R. 1138, 1147; Keeran v. Spurgeon Merc. Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A. L.R. 579; Bell v. Daugherty, 199 Iowa 413, 200 N.W. 708, 37 A.L.R. 154; Nelson v. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 231 N.......
  • Hull v. Cafeteria, No. 46738.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 21 Junio 1947
    ...v. Everett, 235 Iowa 396, 16 N.W.2d 737, 739;Mann v. Des Moines R. Co., 232 Iowa 1049, 7 N.W.2d 45;Keeran v. Spurgeon Mercantile Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 1242, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A.L.R. 579;Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 601, 231 N.W. 665;Low v. Ford Hopkins Co., 231 Iowa 251, 1 N.W......
  • Hull v. Cafeteria, No. 46738.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 20 Diciembre 1946
    ...v. Everett, 235 Iowa 396, 16 N.W.2d 737, 739;Mann v. Des Moines Ry. Co., 232 Iowa 1049, 7 N.W.2d 45;Keeran v. Spurgeon Mercantile Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 1242, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A.L.R. 579;Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 601, 231 N.W. 665;Low v. Ford Hopkins Co., 231 Iowa 251, 1 N.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
45 cases
  • Henry v. Mississippi Power & Light Co., 30455
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • 27 Marzo 1933
    ...Neb. 24; John D. McCaffrey v. Concord Electric Co., 114 A. 397; Key West Elec. Co. v. Roberts, 89 So. 122; Keeron v. Spurgeon Merc. Co., 194 Iowa 1240; Lunsford v. Colonial Coal & Coke Co., 115 Va. 346; Lewko v. Krause Milling Co. (Wis.), 190 N.W. 924; L. & N. R. R. Co. v. Daniels, ......
  • Fort Dodge Hotel Co. v. Bartelt, No. 11858.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 23 Abril 1941
    ...trial. --------Notes: 1 Downing v. Merchants' Nat. Bank, 192 Iowa 1250, 184 N.W. 722, 20 A.L.R. 1138, 1147; Keeran v. Spurgeon Merc. Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A. L.R. 579; Bell v. Daugherty, 199 Iowa 413, 200 N.W. 708, 37 A.L.R. 154; Nelson v. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 23......
  • Hull v. Cafeteria, No. 46738.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 21 Junio 1947
    ...v. Everett, 235 Iowa 396, 16 N.W.2d 737, 739;Mann v. Des Moines R. Co., 232 Iowa 1049, 7 N.W.2d 45;Keeran v. Spurgeon Mercantile Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 1242, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A.L.R. 579;Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 601, 231 N.W. 665;Low v. Ford Hopkins Co., 231 Iowa 251, 1......
  • Hull v. Cafeteria, No. 46738.
    • United States
    • Iowa Supreme Court
    • 20 Diciembre 1946
    ...v. Everett, 235 Iowa 396, 16 N.W.2d 737, 739;Mann v. Des Moines Ry. Co., 232 Iowa 1049, 7 N.W.2d 45;Keeran v. Spurgeon Mercantile Co., 194 Iowa 1240, 1242, 191 N.W. 99, 27 A.L.R. 579;Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 211 Iowa 592, 601, 231 N.W. 665;Low v. Ford Hopkins Co., 231 Iowa 251, ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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