Court Permits Accident Victim’s Case against Church Alleging Dangerous Placement of Parking Lot

Earlier this month, a California appellate court issued a written opinion in a liability case allowing a pedestrian injured while crossing the street to attend a church event to sue the church under a premises liability theory. The court explained that, while the general rule is that a landowner is not liable for injuries that occur off his or her premises, there are some situations where liability is appropriate.

City StreetThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was attending an evening event at his local church. The church had a small parking lot located immediately adjacent to the building, but it often filled up. To ensure that attendees had ample room to park, the church arranged with a nearby business to allow church attendees to park in the business’ lot. The lot was across a busy street. There were crosswalks on either side of the block, but the parking lot was mid-block and so was the church, so the most straightforward way from the lot to the church to directly cross the five-lane road mid-block.

On the day in question, the plaintiff drove through the church’s main lot and was directed by volunteer parking attendants to go to the auxiliary lot across the street. As the plaintiff parked and left the lot toward the church, he was hit by a passing vehicle. The plaintiff sued the church, arguing that the placement of the auxiliary lot was dangerous and that the church failed to protect against the type of injury he sustained.

The church asked the court to dismiss the case against it, arguing that the church had no control over the public road in between the parking lot and the church. However, the court disagreed, stating that the church should have known that requiring attendees to cross the five-lane road without assistance was dangerous, and that the church should have taken precautions to ensure that pedestrians crossing the road were safe. The court explained that the general rule is that a landowner will not be held liable for injuries occurring off his land, but this case was different because the church actively encouraged attendees to park in the auxiliary lot.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you or a loved on has recently been injured in any kind of Maryland car accident you may be entitled to monetary compensation for all that you have been through. In many situations, there are several liable parties. This may include the other motorists at fault, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road, or even a private landowner. Call the dedicated Maryland personal injury advocates at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation. Calling is free and will not result in any cost to you unless we are able to help you seek the compensation you deserve.

More Blog Posts:

Aggravation of Pre-Existing Injuries in Maryland Car Accidents, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published June 16, 2016.

Premises Liability Case Dismissed Based on Lack of Foreseeability of Harm, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published June 2, 2016.

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