Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vinyard v. Vinyard Funeral Home, Inc. case brief

Vinyard v. Vinyard Funeral Home, Inc. case brief summary
435 S.W.2d 392 (Mo. App. 1968)

Defendant business appealed from the decision of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County (Missouri), which found in favor of plaintiff invitee in an action to recover damages for personal injuries.

One rainy night the invitee slipped and fell when she stepped from a roughly paved surface onto a smoothly paved surface of a ramp in the business' dimly lighted parking lot. The business knew the smoothly paved area was slippery when wet. The business argued on appeal that trial court erred because the evidence of the condition of business' parking lot did not show an unreasonable risk of injury to visitors and that the condition was not discoverable by visitors.


  • The court affirmed, holding that: 
  • (1) the business' own witnesses testified that the parking lot was slick when wet, and that the sealed upper area was slicker than the unsealed lower area; 
  • (2) the trial court properly admitted evidence that knowledge of the condition of the parking lot had come to the business through complaints of patrons that the parking lot's sealed area was slick when wet; and 
  • (3) considering the opportunity of the business to cross-examine the witness who had had a similar fall and to develop any existing dissimilarities between the conditions surrounding the two falls, the trial court did not err in admitting the testimony.

The court affirmed in the personal injury action brought by the invitee against the business.

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