Gladon had been drinking at a baseball game and ended up
on a subway train in Cleveland (RTA). He got off by himself at a station
and was attacked by people who pushed him onto the tracks. While lying on
the tracks, he was hit by a train that was unable to stop.
Gladon sued RTA for negligence because of the lack of security
on platforms, and for failure to stop the train.
The former is a passive condition of the premises, the
latter is an active action taken by the RTA.
There is a different standard of care for these two
The Trial Court granted summary judgment to RTA for the
security claim, and sent the failure to stop claim to a jury.
The jury found for Gladon and awarded
$2.7M in damages. RTA appealed.
The jury was told that the train driver must use ordinary
care. But that the defendant is also required to avoid ordinary care to
The jury was also told that Gladon should be considered
to be an invitee.
An invitee is a person who rightfully comes upon
the premises of another by invitation, express or implied, for some
purpose beneficial to the owner.
There are three categories, invitees, trespassers,
and licensees. There is a different standard of care for each
category, so it becomes important to decide which category the plaintiff
The Appellate Court reversed and remanded the case for a
The Appellate Court found that a visitor only has the
status as an invitee while he is on part of the land to which his
Gladon had not been invited to lie on the tracks.
The Court found that Gladon was not an invitee,
he was legally a trespasser, even if he was trespassing
Gladon unsuccessfully argued that his being on the track
was not intentional and therefore he should retain his invitee
The standard of care is different for invitees and
RTA had an obligation to "discover and to avoid
dangers" to invitees. So if Gladon was an invitee
they had a duty to discover his presence on the tracks.
RTA only had a duty to refrain from willful, wanton, and
reckless behavior towards trespassers. They had no duty to
anticipate Gladon lying on the track and had no duty to avoid damaging
him until he was discovered by the train driver (when it was too late to
The case was remanded to determine if RTA's actions were
within the standard of ordinary care for a trespasser.