Adams v. Presnell

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 06-28-2017
  • Case #: A157924
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When an agent injured a principle, agent’s negligence cannot be imputed to a principal based upon principal’s negligence unless the principal’s negligence was actual. Sheehan v. Apling, 227 Or 594, 363 P2d 575 (1961).

Plaintiff appealed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff assigned error to the trial court’s application of the family purpose doctrine. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the doctrine exists so a third-party is able to recover damages from a motor vehicle accident when the third-party is injured while a member of the vehicle owner’s family was operating the vehicle. In response, the defendant argued that the doctrine assigns any liability to the owner of the car in all contexts and the plaintiff is not able to seek relief under the family purpose doctrine and go after the defendant for negligence claims. When an agent injured a principle, agent’s negligence cannot be imputed to a principal based upon principal’s negligence unless the principal’s negligence was actual. Sheehan v. Apling, 227 Or 594, 363 P2d 575 (1961). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because negligence of an individual driving a family member's vehicle is not assigned to the vehicle owner under the family purpose doctrine. Reversed. 

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