Heins v. Webster County

Supreme Court of Nebraska

552 N.W.2d 51 (Neb. 1996)

A landowner or occupier is under a duty to exercise reasonable care for the protection of lawful visitors to his or her property.

Relevant Facts

Roger Heins (the plaintiff) went to a hospital run by Webster County (the defendant) following a heavy snowfall. The defendant claimed that the plaintiff was on the premises for the purpose of visiting his daughter, who was a hospital employee. The plaintiff claimed he was at the hospital to arrange to play Santa for the hospital staff for the holidays. The plaintiff slipped and fell on an alleged accumulation of ice and snow as he was exiting the hospital. The plaintiff sued.

After a bench trial, the court found that the plaintiff was a licensee on the basis that he was at the hospital to visit his daughter. Additionally, the court found that the defendant did not act willfully or wantonly in failing to notify the plaintiff of any danger on the property known to the defendant but unobservable by the plaintiff. Accordingly, the court held that the defendant did not breach a duty to the plaintiff. The plaintiff appealed.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 20, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

552 N.W.2d 51 (Neb. 1996)