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Conrad v. Jackson County

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 19, 2014

ERIC CONRAD, Plaintiff,
v.
JACKSON COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Oregon and JACKSON COUNTY MASTER GARDNER ASSOC., an unincorporated association, Defendants.

ORDER

MARK D. CLARKE, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the court on defendant Jackson County's motion for partial summary judgment (#17) against defendant Jackson County Master Gardner Association. The Association filed a response (#24), and oral argument occurred on February 12, 2014. For the reasons stated below, Jackson County's motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Except where noted, the material facts are not in dispute. Plaintiff Eric Conrad ("plaintiff') filed this personal injury action on May 3, 2013, alleging that he sustained injuries while acting as a vendor and in operation of his booth during the Jackson County Master Gardeners Association ("JCMGA") Show at the Jackson County Fairgrounds on May 7, 2011. Compl, ¶ 2. The JCMGA's 2011 Show was conducted at the Compton Arena, which is within the Exposition Park in Jackson County. Plaintiff's complaint alleges that he tripped over a pipe after leaving the Compton Arena on his way to the vendor parking lot designated by JCMGA. The vendor lot is located within the Exposition Park in the Jackson County Fairgrounds. Compl, ¶ 3. Plaintiff allegedly fell on his right side and sustained injuries, and asks for economic and non-economic damages. Compl, ¶¶ 3-6.

The JCMGA is an unincorporated association of individuals who have received the master gardener certificate from Oregon State University. Decl. Ella Self, ¶ 5. The JCMGA puts on a Master Gardener Show and Sale annually at the Exposition Park in Jackson County Fairgrounds. Id. at ¶ 3. On or about October 27, 2010, defendant Jackson County ("County") executed a written agreement with JCMGA ("Agreement"). The purpose of the Agreement was to allow JCMGA to use premises owned by the County ("Premises") on May 5-8, 2011, for the Master Gardeners Show and Sale. The Agreement provides, in pertinent part[1]:

Permittee [JCMGA] to do own setup and cleanup. This includes... policing areas used to be sure that all trash and debris has been properly disposed of
...
PERMITTEE [JCMGA] agrees to conduct its activities upon the premises so as not to endanger any person lawfully thereon and to indemnify and save harmless the JACKSON
COUNTY FAIR BOARD, JACKSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, AND JACKSON COUNTY EXPO/FAIRGROUNDS employees against any and all claims for loss, injury, or damage to persons or property damage... arising out of activities conducted by PERMITTEE and its employees.
PERMITTEE agrees that it accepts the premises in the condition in which they are found and agrees the premises are adequate and safe for PERMITTEE'S purposes.
...
11. EXHIBITORS: If Permittee makes any part of the premises under this agreement available to other persons as exhibitors as part of this use, the exhibitors shall be subject to all of the provisions of this agreement and to the authority of the JCEP under those conditions, but in any event, Permittee shall be fully responsible for all acts or omissions of the exhibitors as if they were its agents or employees.
13. RESPONSIBILITY FOR PROPERTY: JCEP assumes no responsibility to Permittee for any property placed on the premises by Permittee, or exhibitors, or for any loss incurred by Permittee as the result of any injury or damage to persons or property sustained during or by reason of the occupancy of the premises by Permittee under this agreement, it being understood that Permittee accepts the premises as-is and based upon Permittee's own inspection of them as to their condition of safety.
14. INSURANCE AND INDEMNITY: Permittee agrees to conduct its activities upon the premises so as not to endanger any person lawfully thereon and to indemnify and save harmless JCEP against any and all claims of employees of Permittee or any contractor or subcontractor arising out of the activities conducted by Permittee, its employees, patrons, guests or exhibitors. Permittee shall deliver to JCEP, not less than fourteen (14) days before the opening of the first day of use and occupancy, satisfactory evidence of liability insurance, including a copy of the endorsement adding JCEP as an additional insured; liability minimum shall be $1, 000, 000, combined single limit bodily injury and property ...

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