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State Appeals Court Finds Church Liable to Family After They Are Injured Near Parking Lot

Posted in Firm News

Late last month, the Court of Appeals of the State of California heard and ruled on a case stemming from a man being hit by a car near a church parking lot. The man was attending a function at the church and was crossing a five-lane road to get to the church from an overflow parking lot. The plaintiff and his wife sued the church for several causes of action, including loss of consortium and negligence. They alleged that the church was negligent because it set up an overflow parking lot in a place where individuals needed to cross a busy road.

The church moved for summary judgment, claiming that it did not owe the man a duty because it was not in control of the public road where the man was injured. However, the man appealed, arguing that the location of the injury is not dispositive and that the church did not meet its burden to show that no material fact existed regarding the duty it owed him. The appellate court reversed this finding. Specifically, the court took into consideration the location of the overflow lot, and it concluded that the church’s invitees who parked there were exposed to an unreasonable risk of injury. The court ultimately held that the church could be held liable for the man’s injuries.

New Mexico Premises Liability for Adjacent Properties

Generally, individuals who own or are in possession of property or land have a duty to keep their property or premises safe for visitors, guests, and occupiers of their land. If a person is injured on the land, the landowner may be held liable for the injuries the victim sustained. When the injury occurs on the land, it may be a bit easier for a plaintiff to pursue the claim, but even in those cases landowners will often try everything to thwart responsibility.

In a situation such as the one above, when a person is injured on property adjacent to the land, the situation can be a bit more difficult to establish liability. However, these property owners may still be held liable for injuries that occur next to their land. In most situations, this refers to areas such as sidewalks, walkways, easements, and parking lots. In these situations, the plaintiff must still meet the basic elements of a negligence claim, but the plaintiff will also need to show that the landowner was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous condition on the piece of land where they were injured.

Have You Been Injured on Another Party’s Property in New Mexico?

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you should strongly consider contacting an attorney at the Fine Law Firm. Premises liability lawsuits in New Mexico are often very tricky because landowners have many defenses they may use to attempt to get out of liability. An attorney at the Fine Law Firm can help you navigate this complex area of the law and seek the compensation you deserve. You may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Foreseeability as an Element of a New Mexico Negligence Claim, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2016.

State Court Finds Plaintiff Was Not Entitled to a New Trial in Lawsuit over Medical Expenses, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2016.