Spain v. Jones

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-07-2013
  • Case #: A148635
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The Yowell doctrine precludes a grant of summary judgment on common law negligence claims, and premises-liability claims when a genuine issue of material fact exists.

Spain appealed the trial court's grant of summary judgment. Spain was injured after falling on a construction worksite. Spain sued Jones, the property owner, along with Rossetto and Brown, framing contractors on the worksite. Spain alleged 1) negligence by Jones, Rossetto, and Brown caused his injury, 2) under the theory of premises-liability Jones was responsible for his injuries, and 3) the Employer Liability Law allowed him to recover from Jones, Rossetto, and Brown. The trial court granted Brown, Jones and Rossetto’s motions for summary judgment on all three issues, and issued a general judgment of dismissal. Spain appealed all three motions. On the first two issues, the Court of Appeals found a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the risk of falling was inextricably connected to Spain’s profession or resulted from Spain not having been provided fall protection. On the third issue, the Court found two genuine issues of material fact: who had the right to control the environment in which the risk-taking activity took place, and who controlled the manner in which Spain conducted his work as it related to the risk of falling. Because genuine issues of material fact existed, under the Yowell doctrine, Jones, Rossetto and Brown were not entitled to summary judgment, and therefore the trial court erred. Reversed and remanded.

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