Cowan v. One Hour Valet, Inc
In Cowan v. One Hour Valet, Inc., 151 W. Va. 941, 157 S.E.2d 843 (W. Va. 1967), Leslie Cowan, an inspector and tester of electric equipment and meters, entered the premises of One Hour Valet in connection with his duties.
Cowan was injured when he fell through the floor in a back room of the dry cleaning business. In citing Sheffield Co. v. Phillips, 69 Ga. App. 41, 24 S.E.2d 834 (Ga. Ct. App. 1943) and other cases, the court found:
The status of the appellant was clearly that of an invitee. He was charged with the duties of inspecting the electrical equipment and checking the meters. In such cases it is held that such inspector or a person with such duties has the status of an invitee because he was entering the premises in the performance of his duties. . . . Where a person has some business with the landowner there is an implied invitation to enter. Cowan, 157 S.E.2d at 849.
Additionally, the court made clear "the appellant was not only an invitee of the tenant but was an invitee of the landlord because it is clear from the evidence in this case that one of the reasons for his inspection and checking of the electrical meters located in the back room of the building owned by the appellees was to avoid and correct any situation that may have existed that would create a fire hazard to the building." Id.
The court further noted Cowan "was not only an invitee of the appellees but was there on the premises for the benefit of the appellees or landowner." Id.