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Simpson v. Colonial Parking, Inc., Del., No. 396, 2011, February 13, 2012.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant. Plaintiff was injured while riding his bike through defendant's parking lot. While taking a short cut through the parking lot, plaintiff's bike struck a large pothole and he sustained injury. The Superior Court found that plaintiff was a trespasser and, as such, defendant's only duty was to refrain from willful and wanton conduct. Since plaintiff had neither alleged nor proved willful and wanton conduct, the court granted summary judgement. Plaintiff appealed contending that he was a licensee, and not a trespasser, and therefore the premises liability standard set forth in Section 342 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts should apply. The Court held that Section 342 did not apply to licensees under Delaware common law, and re-affirmed its prior decision in Hoesch v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 677 A.2d 29 (Del. 1996), wherein the Court adopted the “willful and wanton” common law principles for both trespassers and licensees.


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