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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant went to visit her mother, a patient at Providence Memorial Hospital. Instead of parking in the Providence parking lot, appellant parked along the curb on Hague Street next to the hospital. She exited the vehicle and walked across the landscaped area to reach the sidewalk. Appellant alleges she tripped over a bush sticking about 1 to 2 feet out of the ground and sustained injuries to her back and hands. There is no direct evidence on the record indicating whether she tripped on a bush or on the rocks, but rather appellant indicated that, what else could she think, other than she tripped on the bush, since she did not see it. On May 30, 2003, appellant filed her suit, filing an amended original petition on July 2, 2003. Appellant alleged that the injuries and damages she suffered were the proximate cause of Tenet Hospitals’ negligence and the negligence of its agents and employees. Specifically, appellant alleged that Tenet Hospitals created an unsafe condition, failed to warn her of the dangers, failed to adequately protect pedestrians from the dangerous condition, allowed the unsafe condition to remain without repair, cut the bush to a stump and failed to remove the stump. Tenet Hospitals answered and subsequently filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment on July 22, 2004. First, Tenet Hospitals alleged that appellant’s status at the time and location of the injury was a trespasser and she was required to and failed to introduce any evidence showing that Tenet Hospitals willingly, wantonly or by gross neglect caused her injury. Alternatively, Tenet Hospitals argued that if it is determined that appellant was a licensee, the evidence establishes that the alleged hazard which caused appellant’s injuries was easily perceptible, relieving Tenet Hospitals of any duty to warn of the alleged hazard. The trial court signed an order granting Tenet Hospitals’ motion for summary judgment on all of appellant’s claims. Appellant filed a motion for new trial on Sept. 23, 2004, arguing that the summary judgment was improperly granted because a fact issue was raised as to the status of appellant; a fact issue exists as to whether the dangerous condition was perceptible to appellant; a fact issue exists as to whether Tenet Hospitals had actual knowledge of a condition on its premises that presented an unreasonable risk of harm to appellant; a remnant of the shrub did not constitute an unreasonably dangerous condition; and a fact issue exists as to whether Tenet Hospitals breached its duty not to injure appellant through gross negligence. Appellant’s motion for new trial was overruled by operation of law. HOLDING:Affirmed. Reviewing the summary judgment evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and disregarding all contrary evidence and inferences, the record indicates that appellant was at the hospital to visit her mother, a visit clearly for her sole purpose and benefit. There is no evidence that appellant was at the hospital for the purpose of conducting business with Tenet Hospitals. Furthermore, at the time the alleged incident happened, appellant was walking through the landscaped area located between Hague Street and the sidewalk on the side of the hospital. Appellant, therefore, did not enjoy the status of an invitee. The summary judgment evidence further shows that Tenet Hospitals knew people would park on the street and use the landscaped area to get to the sidewalk. The evidence indicates that appellant was, at best under these specific circumstances, a licensee. Appellant asserts that there is more than a scintilla of evidence that Tenet Hospitals had actual knowledge of a condition on its premises that presented an unreasonable risk of harm. The court does not agree with Tenet Hospitals’ assertion that the demise of the plant was nothing more than a natural condition. Even if Tenet Hospitals’ assertions regarding the bush being a natural condition were correct, the court refers to its holding in Furr’s Inc. v. Logan, 893 S.W.2d 187 (Tex. App. – El Paso 1995, no writ), that Brownsville Navigation District v. Izaguirre, 829 S.W.2d 159 (Tex. 1992) does not purport to hold that a natural condition can never be the basis of a premises liability claim. The shrub was approximately 1 to 2 feet tall and located in a row of other larger green bushes. Appellant testified that she assumed she was looking down when she first stepped from the street onto the curb, but that she did not see the shrubs between the curb and the sidewalk. However, appellant did see the row of green bushes equally spaced apart, which comprised part of the landscaped scheme. The summary judgment evidence contains nothing more with respect to the issue of the shrub being an unreasonably dangerous condition. This evidence does nothing more than present a mere speculation and does not rise to the level of more than a scintilla of evidence. The shrub was not an unreasonably dangerous condition for which Tenet Hospitals may be held liable as a matter of law, the court finds. Further, appellant failed to present a scintilla of evidence regarding the perceptibility of the distressed bush and in so doing, she failed to meet her burden to defeat Tenet Hospitals’ no-evidence motion for summary judgment. Appellant testified that she did not see the distressed shrub, but rather that the color of the distressed shrub blended in with the color of the rocks used to landscape that area. Yet, she testified that she could not remember the color of the shrub because of the injuries she received from the fall. OPINION:Barajas, CJ; Barajas, CJ, McClure and Ables, JJ.

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