Towe v. Sacagewea, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 10-12-2011
  • Case #: A142775
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; & Landau, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Recovery under a negligence theory is not available for a trespasser where the trespasser knew he was trespassing; the owner of the land had not acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others and a willingness to inflict injury; and the trespasser was not following the rules of the road.

Towe was injured while driving his motorcycle on a private road, while looking for properties he had heard were for sale. Towe sued the company that owned the private road and the real estate agency that had left one directional sign up at the access point to the private road. Towe claimed that the injuries he sustained were the result of defendants’ negligence. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants because (1) Towe ignored a large sign indicating the road was private and no trespassers were allowed; (2) he was aware that the road was private and contained the cable barrier that cause his injuries from his prior work experience for the owner's of the road and the cable; (3) he was looking backwards as he approached the cable; and (4) he was not substantially influenced by the real estate company to travel up the road.

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