Bardwell Motor Inn, Inc. v. Accavallo – Case Brief Summary (Vermont)

In Bardwell Motor Inn, Inc. v. Accavallo, 135 Vt. 571, 572, 381 A.2d 1061 (1977), plaintiff, a hotel, contracted with defendants to replace a glass panel in a door to its main entrance.

Defendants removed the glass panel without giving prior notice to plaintiff, and left without advising plaintiff of the existing dangerous condition or posting any warning signs.

Plaintiff sought indemnification for its liability for injuries suffered by one of its patrons while trying to open the door.

Upholding a judgment for the plaintiff, the Court explained:

"It was clearly the duty of the defendants to make safe the door on which they were working or to warn of the danger they had created. While, as against the person injured, plaintiff here had a nondelegable duty to keep its premises reasonably safe, the violation of that duty was clearly the primary fault of the defendants, and a right of indemnity in the plaintiff follows." Id.