Catholic Diocese of El Paso v. Porter (Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals in this premises liability case, holding that volunteers working in a third-party vendor's booth at a festival were licensees and not invitees of the landowner.
Plaintiffs were the parents of four teenage volunteers at the San Lorenzo Church's annual festival. The teenagers were injured when a fire broke out in the interior of the booth they were working in. The trial court rendered a take-nothing judgment on the jury's verdict failing to find that the Church negligently caused the volunteers' injury or that the Church controlled the injury-causing activity. The court of appeals reversed, holding that the volunteers were the Church's invitees as a matter of law and that the verdict for the Church was against the preponderance of the evidence. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the volunteers were licensees of the Church rather than invitees; and (2) Plaintiffs did not show either that the evidence conclusively established that the Church breached its duty to the volunteers as licensees or that the trial court otherwise committed reversible error.