Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, No. 94SC595

Docket NºNo. 94SC595
Citation907 P.2d 580
Case DateNovember 28, 1995
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 580

907 P.2d 580
LAKEVIEW ASSOCIATES, LTD., a Colorado limited partnership;
Bijou Management Company; and James Young,
individually, Petitioners,
v.
Ann MAES and the Colorado Department of Social Services, Respondents.
No. 94SC595.
Supreme Court of Colorado,
En Banc.
Nov. 28, 1995.

Page 581

Anderson, Campbell and Laugesen, P.C., Richard W. Laugesen, Denver, for defendants-petitioners.

J. Gregory Walta, P.C., Celeste L. Crizer, Colorado Springs, for respondents-plaintiffs.

Justice KIRSHBAUM delivered the Opinion of the Court.

In Maes v. Lakeview Associates, Ltd., 892 P.2d 375 (Colo.App.1994), the court of appeals determined that plaintiff-respondent Ann Maes, a tenant at an apartment complex owned by defendant-petitioner Lakeview Associates, Ltd., was an invitee and not a licensee for purposes of Colorado's landowner liability statute, section 13-21-115, 6A C.R.S. (1987 & 1995 Supp.) (hereafter "the Act"), at the time she sustained injuries in an accident. 1 Having granted certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision, we affirm.

I

The material facts are undisputed. On December 14, 1991, Maes was a tenant at Lakeview Apartments, an apartment complex for elderly persons located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That morning, Maes left her apartment to catch a city bus at a bus stop located to the north of the complex. She elected to use the north door of the building rather than the main door in order to take a shortcut across the complex parking lot to reach the bus stop. While walking across the parking lot Maes slipped and fell on a patch of ice and sustained temporary and permanent injuries. Although Maes did not own a car, she often walked across the parking lot to reach the bus stop.

Maes and plaintiff-respondent Colorado Department of Social Services 2 (hereafter "the Department") subsequently filed this civil action against the defendants pursuant to the Act. Prior to trial, defendants filed a motion pursuant to section 13-21-115(4), 6A C.R.S. (1987 & 1995 Supp.), for a determination of whether Maes was an "invitee" or a "licensee" as defined by the Act. After conducting a hearing on the motion, the trial court determined that Maes was a licensee for purposes of the Act because she walked across the parking lot with the permission and consent of the defendants for her own convenience. At the conclusion of the evidence, the jury was instructed on the duty of care owed by owners and managers of property to licensees. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants and the trial court entered judgment for the defendants on the basis of that verdict.

Maes and the Department appealed, and the court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for a new trial. Maes v. Lakeview Assocs., Ltd., 892 P.2d 375 (Colo.App.1994). The court concluded that Maes was an invitee and not a licensee as those terms are defined by the Act, reasoning that the landlord-tenant relationship between Maes and the defendants constituted a business relationship and that Maes was therefore on the premises for the mutual benefit of herself and the defendants. Maes, 892 P.2d at 377-78.

II

At common law, a licensee was defined as a person who goes upon the property of

Page 582

another for the person's 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 purpose of transacting business with the landowner. Id. at 594, 413 P.2d at 909; Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry., 137 Colo. 224, 228, 323 P.2d 624, 626 (1958); Hooker v. Routt Realty Co., 102 Colo. 8, 11, 76 P.2d 431, 432-33 (1938). Thus, an invitee's presence on land owned by another was regarded as serving the mutual purposes of the invitee and the landowner. Mathias, 137 Colo. at 228, 323 P.2d at 626; see Husser, 159 Colo. at 594, 413 P.2d at 909. A landowner had a duty to refrain from wilfully or wantonly injuring a licensee. Lunt v. Post Printing and Publishing Co., 48 Colo. 316, 329-30, 110 P. 203, 207 (1910); see Mathias, 137 Colo. at 229, 323 P.2d at 627. However, a landowner was charged with the duty of protecting an invitee from known dangers or those conditions that the landowner might have discovered in the exercise of reasonable care. Husser, 159 Colo. at 594, 413 P.2d at 909; see Nettrour v. J.C. Penney Co., 146 Colo. 150, 154-55, 360 P.2d 964, 966 (1961).

In Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 175 Colo. 537, 548, 489 P.2d 308, 314 (1971), this court determined that the common-law status of a person entering the property of another no longer controlled the standard of care applicable to the conduct of landowners. We determined that landowners had a duty to manage their property in a reasonable manner in view of the likelihood or foreseeability of injury to persons on the property and that the status of the entrant was only one factor to be considered in determining the liability of a landowner for injuries allegedly sustained by persons on the landowner's property as a result of the landowner's negligent conduct. Id. at 548, 489 P.2d at 314-15. This standard for determining the scope of a landowner's duty of care to persons entering or occupying the landowner's property was extended to the landlord-tenant relationship by the Colorado Court of Appeals in Kopke v. AAA Warehouse Corp., 30 Colo.App. 470, 473-74, 494 P.2d 1307, 1309 (1972).

In 1986 the General Assembly adopted the landowner liability statute, section 13-21-115, 6A C.R.S. (1987) (hereafter "the 1986 Act") in an effort to revive the common-law categories of invitee, licensee, and trespasser as they existed prior to Radovich. Gallegos v. Phipps, 779 P.2d 856, 861 & n. 6 (Colo.1989). While the 1986 Act delineated three separate categories of entrants onto the land of another along with a separate standard of care for each type of entrant, the 1986 Act did not explicitly label those categories "trespasser," "licensee" and "invitee." See § 13-21-115(3)(a), (b), (c), 6A C.R.S. (1987). With respect to a landowner's duty of care to persons traditionally described as "licensees," the 1986 Act contained the following pertinent provision:

(b) If the plaintiff entered or remained upon such property with the consent of the landowner, but the entry was for the plaintiff's own purposes and not the purposes of the landowner, the plaintiff may recover only for damages caused by the landowner's deliberate failure to exercise reasonable care in the conduct of the landowner's active operations upon the property or by the landowner's failure to warn of dangers which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which the landowner actually knew.

§ 13-21-115(3)(b), 6A C.R.S. (1987). With respect to a landowner's duty of care toward those persons traditionally described as invitees, the 1986 Act contained the following pertinent provision:

(c) If the landowner has expressly or impliedly invited the plaintiff onto the real property for the purposes of the landowner, the plaintiff may recover for damages caused by the landowner's deliberate failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers which are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and of which he actually knew.

§ 13-21-115(3)(c), 6A C.R.S. (1987). In Gallegos v. Phipps, 779 P.2d 856, 862-63 (Colo.1989), this court concluded that the 1986 Act violated federal and state constitutional guarantees of equal protection of the laws because the provisions of the Act delineating

Page 583

a higher standard of care for licensees than for invitees were not rationally related to the legitimate governmental objective of reinstating the traditional common-law standards. In response to Gallegos, the General Assembly in 1990 adopted the Act by amending the 1986 Act. See Ch. 107, sec. 1, § 13-21-115, 1990 Colo.Sess.Laws 867. As amended, the Act defines an invitee as "a person who enters or remains on the land of another to transact business in which the parties are mutually interested." § 13-21-115(5)(c), 6A C.R.S. (1995 Supp.). The Act defines a licensee as "a person who enters or remains on the land of another for the licensee's own convenience or to advance his own interests, pursuant to the landowner's permission or consent," and includes a social guest. § 13-21-115(5)(b), 6A C.R.S. (1995 Supp.). 3 With respect to...

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56 practice notes
  • Self v. Queen, No. 23348
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 24, 1997
    ...L.Ed.2d 399 (1973); Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 175 Colo. 537, 489 P.2d 308 (Colo.1971)(but see, Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995), discussing the partial legislative resurrection of the status categories); Pickard v. City & County of Honolulu, 51 Haw. 134, 45......
  • Koenig v. Koenig, No. 07-1586.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 5, 2009
    ...670 (1995) (considering whether mall employee lost status as an invitee by attempting to stop a robber); Lakeview Assocs., Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995) (discussing whether tenant, who paid rent but happened to not own a car, was invitee or licensee when she fell while walking acro......
  • Mallet v. Pickens, No. 25807.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 21, 1999
    ...670 (1995) (considering whether mall employee lost status as an invitee by attempting to stop a robber); Lakeview Assoc., Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995) (discussing whether tenant, who paid rent but happened to not own a car, was invitee or licensee when she fell while walking acros......
  • Mellon Mortgage Co. v. Holder, 090999
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • January 12, 1999
    ...Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 489 P.2d 308, 311-15 (Colo. 1971), superseded by statute as explained in Lakeview Assoc., Ltd v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580, 582-83 (Colo. 1995); Smith v. Arbaugh's Restaurant, Inc., 469 F.2d 97, 100 (D.C. Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 939 (1973); Pickard v. Ci......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
56 cases
  • Self v. Queen, No. 23348
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • February 24, 1997
    ...L.Ed.2d 399 (1973); Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 175 Colo. 537, 489 P.2d 308 (Colo.1971)(but see, Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995), discussing the partial legislative resurrection of the status categories); Pickard v. City & County of Honolulu, 51 Haw. 134, 45......
  • Koenig v. Koenig, No. 07-1586.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 5, 2009
    ...670 (1995) (considering whether mall employee lost status as an invitee by attempting to stop a robber); Lakeview Assocs., Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995) (discussing whether tenant, who paid rent but happened to not own a car, was invitee or licensee when she fell while walking acro......
  • Mallet v. Pickens, No. 25807.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • July 21, 1999
    ...670 (1995) (considering whether mall employee lost status as an invitee by attempting to stop a robber); Lakeview Assoc., Ltd. v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580 (Colo.1995) (discussing whether tenant, who paid rent but happened to not own a car, was invitee or licensee when she fell while walking acros......
  • Mellon Mortgage Co. v. Holder, 090999
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Texas
    • January 12, 1999
    ...Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, 489 P.2d 308, 311-15 (Colo. 1971), superseded by statute as explained in Lakeview Assoc., Ltd v. Maes, 907 P.2d 580, 582-83 (Colo. 1995); Smith v. Arbaugh's Restaurant, Inc., 469 F.2d 97, 100 (D.C. Cir. 1972), cert. denied, 412 U.S. 939 (1973); Pickard v. Ci......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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