Skoglund v. Neste (Premises Liability Law)

In Skoglund v. Neste (premises liability law) Development the Court of appeals addressed the question if Skoglund (a business invitee) exceeded the scope of her invitation by engaging in an alleged unpermitted activity on the premises.  In this case a Gold’s Gym.

Skoglund was a member of the gym. Televisions were hung from the ceiling on hanging mounts. She tried to change the channel on a tv by stepping on a barbell rack.  As she reached for an pulled the tv mount, it broke and the tv and the mount fell on her.   She was suffered several injuries including fractures.  The trial court determined that Mrs. Skoglund climbing on the barbell rack changed her status as business invitee to a trespasser.  Thus the Court found the gym owed her a lesser duty of care.

The first issue addressed by the Court was whether an individual’s status as business invitee, licensee or trespasser is a question of fact for the jury to decide and NOT a question of law.  This includes whether an invitee’s actions changes their status to that of a trespasser.  Meaning if there is an issue as to the status of the injured person, the parties are likely bound for trial.

As related to the Skoglund case, the Court held that there was a material issue of fact regarding whether she engaged in an unpermitted activity when she attempted to access the tv and whether in attempting to change the tv if her status from that of invitee to a licensee or trespasser.