Vail v. Masker

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Vail v. Masker Citation of the case: Vail v. Masker, 812 So.2d 807 (La. App., 2002). Facts: The plaintiff, Margaret F. Vail, was on Saturday 24th, 1996 having breakfast at the MacDonald’s restaurant located at 3321 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. It was at that moment that a colored female stole her purse. She then proceeded to escape to a getaway car that was awaiting her in the parking lot. Ms. Vail pursued her, but unfortunately, the thief knocked her to the ground and ran her over with the getaway car. This resulted in multiple injuries to her leg and head. The plaintiff then proceeded to file a personal injury claim against MacDonald’s and the insurer, General Accident Insurance Company. The defendant sought a summary judgment because they owed the plaintiff no duty of care in protecting her against criminal acts of a third party when she took it upon herself to chase the criminal. On November 10, 2000, the court granted the motion for a summary judgment. The plaintiff seeks to appeal this decision. Issue: Did the defendants owe the plaintiff a duty in these particular circumstances? Considering, the plaintiff took it upon herself to give chase to the thief and suffered injuries as a result. Decision: No Reason: (Judges Brynes, McKay, and Gorbaty of Civil Appeal) the owner or operator of business has a duty of care to all those who visit the premises. This obligation ensures that they are safe and are not prone to unnecessary risks of harm or injury. However, in this case, the duty of care only extended to ensuring that the plaintiff was safe from any robbers or thieves as this could be classified as a foreseeable risk. It was not foreseeable that the

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