- Summary Judgment Granted in Favor of Homeowner Pursuant to Delaware’s Premises Guest Statute. There was No Evidence that Homeowner Engaged in Willful or Wanton Conduct by Not Repairing Her Driveway.
- April 27, 2017 | Author: Jessica L. Tyler
- Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Wilmington Office
Francois v. Elom, No. N15C-05-191 FWW, 2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 24 (Del. Super. Ct. Jan. 17, 2017)
While walking her dog, the plaintiff ventured onto the defendant’s driveway, where she fell on a crack and was injured. The parties agreed that the plaintiff was a trespasser under Delaware law and that the Premises Guest Statute applied to the facts. The Guest Statute is codified at 25 Del. C. §1501 and shields landowners from liability for injuries to persons who enter their land without permission, so long as the injuries did not occur as a result of the landowner’s intent or willful or wanton conduct. In opposing the landowner’s summary judgment motion, the plaintiff argued that the landowner knew about the defective condition and disregarded making repairs. The court granted summary judgment, finding no evidence to support the plaintiff’s bare allegations because the landowner never had concerns about her driveway or received complaints about it. There were no facts to suggest the owner had a “conscious indifference” or an “I don’t care” attitude.