Hyinx Semiconductor Mfg. America v. EWEB

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Contract Law
  • Date Filed: 02-03-2016
  • Case #: A154528
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 42.230, when interpreting the terms of a contract, the Oregon Court of Appeals looks to the explicit language of the contract terms, and construes them together as a whole as applied to the issue raised.

Plaintiffs (Hyinx) brought a breach of contract action against EWEB after EWEB's employees, while repairing water leaks in a service substation, inadvertently caused a loss of electrical power to Hyinx's facility, which resulted in damages to Hyinx's equipment and products. The contract between EWEB and Hyinx stated that EWEB would provide power to Hyinx and, whenever possible, notify Hyinx if any planned interruptions of service would occur, and further stated that EWEB would have no liability to Hyinx and would not be responsible for any damages should any interruption or loss of service occur. Hyinx moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was reasonably anticipated that Hyinx might lose service due to EWEB's repairs, and EWEB should have notified Hyinx of such a possibility. EWEB also moved for summary judgment, arguing that the contract relieved EWEB from any liability for damages as a result of loss of service. The trial court held as a matter of law that the explicit terms of the contract relieved EWEB from any damages; Hyinx appealed. On review, the Court reviewed the explicit terms of the contract, and held that as a matter of law, the power outage fell within the limitation of liability in the contract. Affirmed.

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