American Wholesale Products v. Allstate Ins. Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Contract Law
  • Date Filed: 10-25-2017
  • Case #: A160215
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, P.J. for the Court; Garrett, J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A liability provision that indemnifies a defendant from it’s own negligence must be clearly and unequivocally expressed. Estey v. MacKenzie Engineering Inc., 324 Or 372, 927 P2d 86 (1996).

Plaintiff appealed trial court’s grant of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff assigned error to the trial court’s determination that a lease provision exempted Defendant from liability from Defendant’s own negligence. On appeal, Plaintiff argued the provision conflicts with other provisions giving way to alternative plausible interpretations which rendered the provision as not having been expressed in “clear and unequivocal terms”. A liability provision that indemnifies a defendant from it’s own negligence must be clearly and unequivocally expressed. Estey v. MacKenzie Engineering Inc., 324 Or 372, 927 P2d 86 (1996). The Court of Appeals held that the lease unambiguously, clearly, and unequivocally precluded liability for water damage caused by Defendant’s own negligence. Affirmed. 

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