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Adams v. Olsen

Decided: October 20, 1930.

ANNA ADAMS, APPELLANT,
v.
ELIZABETH OLSEN, RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the appellant, Benjamin M. Weinberg.

For the respondent, Turner & Stalter.

Campbell

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CAMPBELL, J. This is an appeal from a judgment of nonsuit.

Appellant, a visiting nurse, was injured on December 10th, 1926, while she was about making a professional visit to a Mrs. Oswald, who lived in a first-floor apartment of the building 393 Main street, East Orange. Her injuries were caused by her entering a doorway, leading from the street to the basement of the building, and falling down the stairway. This doorway was at the sidewalk level. The building

was so arranged that at the street level there were two stores -- one a beauty parlor and the other that of a florist. The entrance to the living apartments was by a doorway and hall between these two stores or business places. At the extreme end of the building, directly adjacent to the florist's store, and distant from the apartment entrance the width of the store occupied by the florist, was this entrance to the basement, where appellant entered and was injured. This was closed by a door, glazed with leaded glass at the street or sidewalk level. Immediately above it appeared the number 393. This was a part of the sign of the florist which covered the entrance in question and the entire front of such store. Such sign being "393 Reichey and Lake 393."

At the time appellant attempted to make use of this way the door was closed, but not locked.

The trial judge nonsuited the plaintiff-appellant upon the ground that she was a trespasser and was without invitation express or implied to make use of this way.

Under such facts and circumstances, without anything else appearing, it is extremely doubtful, whether the judgment of nonsuit could be legally justified upon the grounds advanced by the trial judge.

But it is too well established to require citation of authority, that such a judgment will not be reversed if there is a legal and substantial ground to support it although such ground may not have been relied upon by the trial judge.

The nonsuit was moved also upon the ground that the appellant was guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law; that is that she, herself, was so negligent of care for her own ...


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