Barmore v. Elmore

Quick Facts


  • Licensee – The duty to warn of known and hidden conditions.
    • A social guest as one who enters the premises of the owner by permission, but for the licensees own purposes
    • Other words – a social guest is a person who goes on another’s property for companionship, diversion or entertainment
  • Invitee  –  The duty to exercise reasonable care in keeping the property safe
    • To go on the land in furtherance of the owner’s business, it is not necessary that the invited person gain an advantage by his entry on the land.


Barmore (Plaintiff) went over Elmore’s (Defendant’s) house to discuss business, during the course of the business talks, the Defendant’s son came into the room and stabbed the Plaintiff with a steak knife.

–  Plaintiff argues that the Defendants were negligent from protecting him from their son, about a dangerous condition that existed (history of mental illness).


Does the father of the Defendant have a duty to warn a licensee/social guest of hidden dangers unknown to the guest?




The owner/occupier of a property has the duty to warn a licensee/social guest of hidden dangers unknown to the latter if the owner has reason to believe that harm could happen

Court reasoning

–          Towards a licensee the defendant, did not know, or have reason to know that his son, would attack the plaintiff.

–          Defendant knew that his son was in violent incidents ten years before this incident, but there was no reason for the D to believe that on this incident he would attack the plaintiff.

–          No question that the D failed to notify the P, but the question is really, did the D know that the D’s son would attack the P? NO.

Comments are closed.