Landlord Tenant Slip and Fall

September 21st, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Landlord Tenant

Hackett v. Indian King Residents Ass’n., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 937 (August 29, 2018) Shogan, J.  This is an appeal by Plaintiff-Appellant, Ruthann Hackett, following a jury’s defense verdict in favor of Appellee, Indian King Residents Association (“IKRA”). Following our careful review, we affirm. Appellant sued to recover for injuries from a fall caused by branches on steps in a common area leading to her townhouse.

The trial court did not err in finding that Appellant was a licensee when she entered the common area. It is undisputed that Appellant was not a trespasser at the time she fell. Initially, we reject outright Appellant’s claim that she was an invitee pursuant to the Uniform Condominium Act. Appellant’s Brief at 21–22. Appellant cites no case law in support of her position, but more significantly, we note the inapplicability of the UCA. IKRA is not a condominium association; it is a homeowners’ association under the UPCA, as noted supra. The UCA has no relevance to this case. Further, Appellant was not an invitee because she was not a business visitor at the Indian King Community nor on the property by invitation or for a purpose related to IKRA’s business dealing. The Restatement, § 332. Rather, she was returning to her home after visiting a relative. N.T., 7/31/17, at 35, 48. Appellant likewise was not a public invitee. The Restatement, § 332. There was no evidence offered that Appellant entered the property upon invitation or for a purpose for which land is held open to the public. As noted by the trial court, Comment b to Section 332 of the Restatement “addresses the requirement of an invitation to distinguish an invitee from a licensee.” The fall was in the common area.  Plaintiff was a resident of Indian King Community.  In such a situation, plaintiff is not invited onto the common area.  She was there with implied permission by virtue of the fact that she was a resident.  She had longstanding permission to use the area