Earlier this month, a California court of appeals issued an opinion of interest to anyone injured while on or near the property of another party. In the case, Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church, the court allowed a plaintiff’s premises liability case to proceed against a church after injuries the man sustained while crossing the street to attend a church service. This is an interesting opinion because the church was in no way in control of the road where the plaintiff sustained his injuries.
The Facts of the Case
The defendant in the case, a church, operated two parking lots. The primary parking lot was directly adjacent to the church. However, once that lot filled up, volunteer parking attendants would direct traffic to the overflow lot, which was across a busy five-lane road. Once at the overflow lot, churchgoers were able to park but were not provided any assistance in crossing the road to get back to the church.
On the day in question, the plaintiff was directed to park in the overflow lot because the primary lot was full. He parked his car and attempted to cross the busy five-lane road to get to the church. However, as he did so, he was struck by a car, causing a serious injury. The plaintiff then filed a premises liability case against the church, arguing that the church was negligent in directing churchgoers to park in the overflow lot without providing them assistance to get back to the church safely.