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Missouri Torts

Anderson v. Accurso, 899 S.W.2d 938 Mo.App. W.D. Jun 20, 1995

Under Missouri law, the duty of care owed a visitor by an owner or possessor of land is governed by the status of the visitor as invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Carter v. Kinney, 896 S.W.2d 926, 927 n. 1 (Mo. banc 1995). A trespasser is one who enters without consent or privilege, and a possessor or owner of land owes a trespasser no duty of care. Id., at 928. Seward v. Terminal R.R. Assn., 854 S.W.2d 426, 428 (Mo. banc 1993). A licensee is one who enters with consent but for his or her own purposes, and a possessor or owner of land owes a licensee the duty to make safe dangers of which the possessor or owner is aware. Carter, 896 S.W.2d at 928.

"An invitee 'is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land.' " Harris v. Niehaus, 857 S.W.2d 222, 225 (Mo. banc 1993) (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts, 332 (1965)). An entrant becomes an invitee when the possessor or owner of land invites him or her to enter or remain on the premises with the expectation of a material benefit. Carter, 896 S.W.2d at 928-29. A possessor or owner of land owes an invitee the duty to use reasonable care to protect the invitee against both known dangers and those that would be revealed by inspection. Id., at 928.


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