Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church,


Court Holds Land Owner Liable for Injury to Invitee Off Site


In Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church, a California Appellate Court held that a land owner may be held liable for injuries sustained by an invitee outside the land owner’s property, where the injuries allegedly resulted from the land owner’s use of an off-site parking lot.  In Vasilenko, plaintiff was hit by a car and injured while crossing a road on his way from an overflow parking lot to church.  There was no marked crosswalk nor traffic signal.  Plaintiff sued the church for his injuries.  He alleged that the church was negligent in locating its overflow lot and causing him to cross a busy street where he might be hit by a car and failing to advise him of that risk.  The church argued that it owed no duty to him because it did not own, possess or control the public street where plaintiff was injured.  The trial court agreed and granted the summary judgment in favor of the church.  The court of appeal reversed, holding that the location of the overflow lot exposed the church’s invitees to an unreasonable risk of injury off site, which gave rise to a duty on the part of the church.


Shannon B. Jones, Partner,