Curtis W. Warrick and Shawna J. Warrick, Appellants,
Property Reserve Inc., Appellee.
District Court, Salt Lake Department The Honorable Barry G.
Lawrence No. 150900203
S. Diumenti, Clifton W. Thompson, and Karra J. Porter,
Attorneys for Appellants
D. Walk, Swen R. Swenson, and Ryan R. Beckstrom, Attorneys
David N. Mortensen authored this Opinion, in which Judges
Gregory K. Orme and Michele M. Christiansen Forster
In mid-January, during subfreezing temperatures, Plaintiff
Curtis W. Warrick cut across Defendant Property Reserve
Inc.'s (PRI) parking lot on his way to work. Before he
could complete his sojourn, he slipped and fell on a patch of
ice. Warrick and his wife, Shawna J. Warrick (collectively,
the Warricks), sued PRI for negligence, but the district
court dismissed their claims on summary judgment on the basis
that the Warricks provided no evidence of how long the
temporary condition had existed. The Warricks appeal, and we
Warrick left for work early one January morning in 2011. He
boarded a bus and arrived in Salt Lake City just before 8:00
a.m. The weather was below freezing with light snowfall.
Warrick walked until he came to a private walkway that cut
across a commercial property. The walkway had apparently been
cleared of snow and salted. Warrick traveled along the
walkway until it came to a pay-to-use parking lot owned by
PRI. Warrick noticed a skiff of snow on the parking lot and
piles of plowed snow, roughly two feet high, around the
perimeter of the lot.
While attempting to cross the parking lot, Warrick slipped
and fell, breaking his leg. After the fall, Warrick found
that he had slipped on "crystal clear" ice, which
he described as "just water under that thin layer of
snow." The Warricks sued PRI for negligence.
After discovery, PRI moved for summary judgment, arguing (1)
that Warrick was a trespasser and (2) that even if he was a
licensee, PRI did not breach any duties because it did not
have actual or constructive notice of the ice. The district
court granted the motion, considering Warrick an invitee for
purposes of the motion and ruling that Warrick presented no
evidence that PRI had actual or constructive notice of the
ice. The Warricks appeal.
AND STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Warricks contend that the district court erroneously
granted summary judgment. We review the district court's
grant of summary judgment for correctness, "considering
only whether the [district] court correctly applied the law
and correctly concluded that no disputed issues of material
fact existed." North Fork Special Service District
v. Bennion, 2013 UT App 1, ¶ 12, 297 P.3d 624
The Warricks' argument on appeal is twofold. First, the
Warricks assert that the district court misapplied
controlling case law when it required them to demonstrate
that PRI had actual or constructive notice of the ice.
Second, in the alternative, the Warricks argue that the
evidence presented on summary judgment reasonably supported
an inference that the ice existed long enough for PRI to have
discovered and remedied it. Before turning to issues of
preservation and the merits of the district court's grant
of summary judgment, we first ...