Republican majority summarily dismisses injury claim brought by man attempting to remove ice from roof
Gordon Bredow was a data processor/project manager for Ferguson Enterprises, which rented space in the Defendant's warehouse. Ice accumulated near the doorway and fell in chunks "less than the size of bowling balls." Bredow and a co-worker deemed the situation unsafe and undertook to remove the snow and ice debris from the entryway and the roof around the doorway. A large section of ice dislodged and fell on Bredow, causing him serious injuries.
Bredow sued the owner, arguing that the iced-roof condition was an unsafe condtion that the owner was responsible for failing to remediate. The owner argued that the condition was an "open and obvious" danger which it owed no duty to address because there was an alternative entrance to the warehouse. The owner also argued that when Bredow undertook to remove the ice from the roof, he exceeded his permission--as a tenant's employee--to use the premises, and therefore the owner owed him no duty of care.
Two Republican Appeals Court judges ruled that Bredow "exceeded the scope of his invitation" and therefore was merely tolerated on the property. He was owed no duty by the owner: it owed him no duty to inspect the property for hazards and no duty to eliminate hazardous conditions. The third judge on the panel dissented from this outcome and reasoning.