JUDY S. JOHNSON
OF JUDGMENT: 03/22/2018
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JEFF WEILL, SR. TRIAL JUDGE.
COURT ATTORNEYS: CODY W. GIBSON PAUL ANDERSON KOERBER WILLIAM
SCOTT MULLENNIX J. SETH McCOY
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: WILLIAM SCOTT MULLENNIX CODY W.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: J. SETH McCOY WILLIAM M. DALEHITE,
RANDOLPH, C.J., ISHEE AND GRIFFIS, JJ.
RANDOLPH, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Judy S. Johnson appeals the affirmance by the Circuit Court
of the First Judicial District of Hinds County of the
judgment of the County Court of the First Judicial District
of Hinds County granting Ronnie Goodson's motion for
summary judgment. Both courts rejected Johnson's claim of
general negligence and granted judgment in favor of Goodson
based on premises-liability law.
Were premises liability the only law applicable, the courts
would be affirmed. But given the facts presented, both erred.
We reverse the grant of summary judgment and remand the case
for proceedings consistent with this opinion. This Court
offers no opinion about Goodson's negligence, vel
non. That question remains for the trier of fact.
AND PROCEEDINGS BELOW
Johnson claims that she was injured while she was an invited
guest on Goodson's property and a passenger in his golf
cart. Johnson sued Goodson in the County Court of the First
Judicial District of Hinds County, alleging that Goodson had
operated the golf cart carelessly, recklessly, and
negligently, causing Johnson to be thrown about in the
vehicle and to suffer injuries.
Johnson filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that, at
the time of the accident, Goodson was the operator of a motor
vehicle, and, as such, the applicable standard of care was
that of a reasonable person. Johnson argued that Goodson had
breached his duty of care by operating a vehicle on his
property in an unsafe manner, proximately causing
Johnson's injuries. Goodson responded that Johnson was a
licensee, that he did not breach any duties owed to her as a
licensee, and that the standard Johnson sought was not
In Goodson's motion for summary judgment, he sought to be
shielded from ordinary negligence by alleging that
Johnson's cause of action was one of premises
liability and that he, as a landowner, only owed
Johnson, a licensee, a duty to refrain from wilfully,
wantonly, knowingly, or intentionally injuring her.
At all times, the parties have agreed that the facts were not
in dispute. The only question was what law applied to the
undisputed facts. Despite their contentions, the county court
determined that disputed issues of fact remained and denied
both Goodson's and Johnson's motions for summary
judgment. Goodson filed an unopposed motion to stay, which
was granted by the county court pending this Court's
ruling on Goodson's petition for interlocutory appeal,
which was denied.
Subsequent to the denial, Goodson filed a motion for
reconsideration. The county court found that "premises
liability law applies and not the Rules of the Road of the
State of Mississippi." Johnson then filed a motion for
reconsideration, arguing that the county court erred in
finding that premises-liability law applied. However, Johnson
requested that if the county court ...