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Heins v. Webster County

Supreme Court of Nebraska
552 N.W.2d 51 (1996)



Roger Heins (plaintiff) went to a hospital run by Webster County (defendant) after a heavy snowfall. The county claimed Heins was on the premises to visit his daughter, a hospital employee. Heins claimed he was also at the hospital to arrange to play Santa Claus for the hospital staff for Christmas. As he was exiting the main entrance to the hospital, Heins slipped and fell on an alleged accumulation of ice and snow, and he was injured. After a bench trial, the court found that Heins was a licensee because he was at the hospital to visit his daughter. The court held that the county did not act willfully or wantonly in failing to notify Heins of any danger on the property known to the county but unobservable by Heins. The court thus found that the county had breached no duty to Heins and entered judgment in favor of the county. Heins appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Connolly, J.)

Dissent (Fahrnbruch, J.)

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