from the Bartholomew Circuit Court The Honorable Stephen R.
Heimann, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 03C01-1502-PL-531
Attorneys for Appellant Robert M. Oakley Daniel K. Dilley
Dilley & Oakley, P.C. Carmel, Indiana.
Attorney for Appellee Keith A. Kinney Duffin, Hash &
Coates, LLP Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jerry Wilson d/b/a Hoosier Pro Wrestling ("Wilson"
or "HPW") promoted and presented a wrestling event,
which was held in a building at the Bartholomew County
Fairgrounds. Crystal Jones ("Jones") attended the
wrestling event, and as she walked through the parking lot to
her car at night, she was assaulted by an unknown assailant.
Jones brought a negligence action against Wilson and
Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, Inc., and, as is relevant here,
the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of
Wilson. Jones appeals, raising the following
restated issue: whether the trial court properly determined
that Wilson did not owe a duty to Jones to protect her from
the criminal acts of a third person that occurred in the
and Procedural History
On June 7, 2014, Jones attended a live wrestling event that
took place in the Family Arts building at the Bartholomew
County Fairgrounds. The day before, Wilson entered into a
contract with Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, Inc., specifically
a Privilege Agreement ("the Agreement"), under
which Wilson rented the Family Arts building for the
wrestling event. Appellant's App. Vol.
II at 33.
Jones arrived at approximately 5:30 p.m., and at around 11:00
p.m., she left the building, although the event was not yet
over, to get some medication from her car. Jones stated that
she used her flashlight on her cell phone to illuminate her
path as the lights in the parking lot were not illuminated.
As she walked alone through the parking lot to her vehicle,
Jones was attacked by an unknown assailant and suffered
On February 2, 2015, Jones filed a complaint against Wilson
and Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, Inc., alleging negligence.
Id. at 7-10. She asserted that it was dark outside
when she left the Family Arts building, she saw no security
personnel around the immediate exterior of the building or in
the parking lot, the lighting in the parking lot was not
operating the night she was attacked, and Wilson "as the
host and promoter of the event had a duty to Plaintiff, with
respect to the maintenance and repair of facility and its
condition with regard to the safety of attendees such as
Plaintiff." Id. at 9. Jones claimed that Wilson
breached his duty and that the lack of lighting, lack of
security, and presence of alcohol proximately caused her
As is relevant here, Wilson filed a motion for summary
judgment, later supplemented, asserting that he had no duty
to Jones while she was in the parking lot to protect her from
unforeseeable criminal acts of a third party. Wilson further
argued that the Agreement did not place any obligation on
Wilson to provide security for the parking areas around the
building or to maintain the lighting in the parking area,
which was owned by Bartholomew County 4-H Fair, Inc.
Id. at 13-17, 24-28. Wilson designated the following
evidence: (1) the Agreement; (2) Jones's complaint; (3)
and excerpts of the deposition of Larry Fisher
("Fisher"), who was the president of the
Bartholomew County Fair Board. Asserting that he owed no duty
to Jones, Wilson claimed that he was entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.
Jones filed her response to Wilson's summary judgment
motion, and, in support, she relied upon the following
evidence: portions of Wilson's deposition; Jones's
responses to interrogatories; the complaint; portions of
Fisher's deposition; and the Agreement. In opposing
summary judgment, she argued that summary judgment was not
proper because material facts were in dispute as to whether
the lights in the parking lot were functioning. She also
asserted that Wilson had a duty to take reasonable
precautions to protect business invitees, such as Jones, from
foreseeable criminal acts and that, under the circumstances
here, the attack was reasonably foreseeable where Jones had
to walk through "a relatively secluded and unlit, grassy
parking area." Id. at 23. She maintained that
"this absence of exterior lighting is a condition of the
land which contributed to the likelihood of the attack on 
Jones." Id. at 28. Following a hearing, the
trial court issued an order granting Wilson's motion for
summary judgment. Jones now appeals.
When reviewing a grant or denial of a motion for summary
judgment our well- settled standard of review is the same as
it is for the trial court: whether there is a genuine issue
of material fact, and whether the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Wagner v. Yates, 912
N.E.2d 805, 808 (Ind. 2009). The party moving for summary
judgment has the burden of making a prima facie showing that
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Goodwin v. Yeakle's Sports Bar & Grill,
Inc.,62 N.E.3d 384, 386 (Ind. 2016). Once these two
requirements are met by the moving party, the burden then
shifts to the non-moving party to show the existence of a
genuine issue by setting forth specifically designated facts.
Id. Any doubt as to any facts or inferences to be
drawn therefrom must be resolved in favor of the non-moving
party. Id. Summary judgment should be granted only
if the evidence sanctioned by Indiana Trial Rule 56(C) shows
that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the
moving party deserves judgment as a matter of law.
Freidline v. Shelby Ins. Co.,774 N.E.2d 37, 39
(Ind. 2002). The party appealing the grant of summary
judgment has the burden of persuading this court that the
trial court's ruling was ...