Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry. Co., No. 18093

Docket NºNo. 18093
Citation323 P.2d 624, 137 Colo. 224
Case DateMarch 24, 1958
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Page 624

323 P.2d 624
137 Colo. 224
Frank David MATHIAS, Plaintiff in Error,
v.
DENVER UNION TERMINAL RAILWAY COMPANY, a Corporation,
Defendant in Error.
No. 18093.
Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc.
March 24, 1958.
Rehearing Denied April 14, 1958.

[137 Colo. 225]

Page 625

Fred M. Muzzulla, Joseph F. Nigro, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Yegge, Bates, Hall & Shulenburg, Denver, for defendant in error.

FRANTZ, Justice.

Mathias was unsuccessful in the trial of his claim against The Denver Union Terminal Company in which he sought to recover damages for injuries to his person and property resulting from alleged negligence. Dissatisfied with the findings and judgment of the trial court, he instituted proceedings in error in this court, seeking to have the adverse decision reversed.

The complaint was based upon an express or implied invitation extended to Mathias to come upon the premises of The Denver Union Terminal Company (hereinafter[137 Colo. 226] referred to as 'the defendant' or 'the depot'); Mathias' presence upon the premises pursuant to the invitation, and the negligence of the defendant by reason of which Mathias fell through a glass canopy attached to the building of defendant, resulting in his injuries. Besides the general issue, defendant filed the affirmative defenses of assumption of risk and contributory negligence.

The defendant, a corporation, owns and operates the railway depot in Denver, serving several railroads with trains entering and leaving Denver. For years reporters and photographers for the several news media in Denver had access to the depot for the purpose of obtaining photographs of celebrities and delegations arriving or departing by train.

Mathias was a photographer for The Denver Post, and on April 22, 1953 was assigned by his employer to obtain photographs

Page 626

of members of out-of-state Chambers of Commerce who wer expected to reach Denver that day. When he arrived at the depot with his equipment, he found a number of these members congregated near one of the exits.

He took some pictures of the group at this place, and decided he would attempt to get some overhead shots. To achieve his objective he ascended to the second floor of the depot and surveyed the situation from a number of windows. Each revealed some physical condition which barred an adequate view.

Having given up the idea of obtaining any overhead views, Mathias was in the act of returning to the ground floor when he was approached by some employees of the depot who, on learning of his mission, offered to assist him. Thereupon, an air-deflector was removed from a window by one of these employees and a desk was moved near thereto. Mathias was helped by an employee to the top of the desk, from which he stepped upon the window sill and began to ease his body down to the canopy beneath which the men whom he desired [137 Colo. 227] to photograph were standing; an employee then handed him his camera. Immediately thereafter the glass canopy upon which he intended to stand, gave way and he fell through the same to the sidewalk, sustaining personal injury and property damage.

The canopy was painted glass supported by ribs of steel, and had the appearance of metal. There were signs spaced on the canopy containing the following warning: 'Danger glass roof keep off.' Mathias denied seeing these warning signs. Although not large signs, it is not disputed that had he looked, he could have seen the one nearest the window out of which he descended upon the canopy.

At the conclusion of the evidence, briefs were submitted to the trial court, and in due course it found that Mathias was a licensee at the time of the accident and took the premises as he found them; that he stepped upon the canopy in disregard of an evident warning sign, thereby assuming the risk; that the depot was not negligent; and thereupon entered judgment against Mathias and for the depot.

The application by the...

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18 practice notes
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...102 Colo. 8, 76 P.2d 431 (1938); Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167 (1952); Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry. Co., 137 Colo. 224, 323 P.2d 624 (1958); Price v. Central Assembly of God, 144 Colo. 297, 356 P.2d 240 (1960); Husser v. School Dist., 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d ......
  • Bogart v. Hester, No. 6439
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • November 25, 1959
    ...Or. 249, 310 P.2d 306; Gay v. Cadwallader-Gibson Co., Inc., 34 Cal.App.2d 566, 93 P.2d 1051; Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry. Co., 137 Colo. 224, 323 P.2d 624; Tesone v. Reiman, 117 Cal.App.2d 211, 255 P.2d 48; Ward v. Avery, 113 Conn. 394, 155 A. 502; Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 2......
  • Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, No. 94SC595
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 28, 1995
    ...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 lan......
  • Harris v. The Ark, No. 90SA137
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 6, 1991
    ...County Development Corp. v. Bagnoli, 166 Colo. 27, 33-35, 441 P.2d 658, 661-62 (1968); Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Railway Co., 137 Colo. 224, 230, 323 P.2d 624, 627-28 (1958). The emphasis here was on the plaintiff's consent, whether express or implied by conduct, to take his own chan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Mile High Fence Co. v. Radovich, No. C--31
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • September 20, 1971
    ...102 Colo. 8, 76 P.2d 431 (1938); Field v. Sisters of Mercy, 126 Colo. 1, 245 P.2d 1167 (1952); Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry. Co., 137 Colo. 224, 323 P.2d 624 (1958); Price v. Central Assembly of God, 144 Colo. 297, 356 P.2d 240 (1960); Husser v. School Dist., 159 Colo. 590, 413 P.2d ......
  • Bogart v. Hester, No. 6439
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court of New Mexico
    • November 25, 1959
    ...Or. 249, 310 P.2d 306; Gay v. Cadwallader-Gibson Co., Inc., 34 Cal.App.2d 566, 93 P.2d 1051; Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Ry. Co., 137 Colo. 224, 323 P.2d 624; Tesone v. Reiman, 117 Cal.App.2d 211, 255 P.2d 48; Ward v. Avery, 113 Conn. 394, 155 A. 502; Nelson v. F. W. Woolworth & Co., 2......
  • Lakeview Associates, Ltd. v. Maes, No. 94SC595
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • November 28, 1995
    ...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 lan......
  • Harris v. The Ark, No. 90SA137
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 6, 1991
    ...County Development Corp. v. Bagnoli, 166 Colo. 27, 33-35, 441 P.2d 658, 661-62 (1968); Mathias v. Denver Union Terminal Railway Co., 137 Colo. 224, 230, 323 P.2d 624, 627-28 (1958). The emphasis here was on the plaintiff's consent, whether express or implied by conduct, to take his own chan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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