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Cotta v. United States

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division

May 16, 2014

MANUAL COTTA, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

Page 1105

For Manual Cotta, Jr., Plaintiff: Kelly L. Andersen, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kelly L. Andersen, P.C., Medford, OR.

For United States of America, by and through the Department of the United States Postal Service, a public body, Defendant: James E. Cox, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Portland, OR.

OPINION

Page 1106

ORDER

OWEN M. PANNER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff Manual Cotta, Jr. brings this personal injury action against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). Plaintiff drove a truck for Lange Trucking, Inc., a private contractor that transported mail for the U.S. Postal Service. Plaintiff claims that defendant is liable for a neck injury he suffered while unloading mail containers from a truck.

After the court trial on liability, I conclude that defendant is liable for plaintiff's injury. These are my findings of fact and conclusions of law.

FINDINGS OF FACT

I. The Contract Between Defendant and Lange Trucking

Lange Trucking worked exclusively for the Postal Service. Lange Trucking's contract with the Postal Service required that Lange Trucking " load, transport, and unload all classes of mail." Pl.'s Ex. 20, P B.1.4(h). Under the contract, the Postal Service set the routes, schedules, equipment, and almost every other aspect of transporting mail.

II. Plaintiff's Injury

Plaintiff drove for Lange Trucking almost daily between April and June 2010. On Monday afternoons, plaintiff drove a truckload of mail from Goshen, Oregon to the Postal Service's Portland Processing and Distribution Center (P& DC).

When he arrived at the Portland P& DC, plaintiff would request assistance from Postal Service employees. Lange Trucking's contract with the Postal Service provided, " In order to maintain schedule, postal personnel may assist with loading and unloading." Id., ΒΆ B.1.4(e). For each of plaintiff's deliveries to the Portland P& DC up to May 3, 2010, the Postal Service provided employees to help plaintiff unload his truck. But on ...


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