Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church

Facts: An owner of property designed for public gatherings holds a function and invites a large number of guests to their property. The primary parking lot fills to capacity and the owner instructs additional guests to park in an overflow parking lot across a busy five-lane street. No crosswalk or traffic signal connects the property to the offsite parking. A guest is struck by a car and injured while crossing the street from the parking lot to the property.

Claim: The guest seeks to hold the property owner liable for their injuries claiming the property owner, by directing guests to offsite parking in a location requiring guests to cross an unsafe street, is negligent since their actions created a foreseeable risk of harm to users of the property.

Counterclaim: The property owner claims they are not responsible for the injury to the guest since the injury occurred on a public street they neither own nor control.

Holding: A California court of appeals holds the property owner is liable for the guest’s injury since they were negligent in maintaining offsite parking in a location that subjects their guests to unsafe conditions, which directly contributed to the injury. [Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church (June 17, 2016) __CA4th__]


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