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Schutz v. LA Costita III, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

November 1, 2017

Ashley SCHUTZ, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
LA COSTITA III, INC., Defendant, and O'BRIEN CONSTRUCTORS, LLC; and Keeley O'Brien, Defendants-Respondents.

          Argued and Submitted November 25, 2015

         Multnomah County Circuit Court 101217338; David F. Rees, Judge.

          J. Randolph Pickett argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs were R. Brendan Dummigan, Kimberly O. Weingart, Ron K. Cheng, and Pickett Dummigan LLP; Brian R. Whitehead, and Law Offces of Brian R. Whitehead, P.C.

          John R. Barhoum argued the cause for respondent O'Brien Constructors, LLC. With him on the brief were Jay R. Chock and Chock Barhoum LLP.

          Andrew D. Glascock argued the cause for respondent Keeley O'Brien. With him on the brief were Curtis M. Burns and Hiefeld Foster & Glascock LLP.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Hadlock, Chief Judge, and Egan, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the trial court dismissing her claims for personal injuries against defendants, her employer and supervisor, after granting defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff contends that the trial court erred in concluding that her claims are barred by ORS 471.565(1) or, alternatively, in failing to conclude that ORS 471.565(1) violates the Oregon Constitution, Article I, section 10 and section 17. Held: The trial court [288 Or. 477] did not err in concluding that plaintiff's claims are barred by ORS 471.565(1). However, ORS 471.565(1) falls within the category of legislation that Article I, section 10, prohibits because it eliminates plaintiff 's common law remedy for defendants' alleged negligence, and, therefore, the trial court erred in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         Reversed and remanded.

         [288 Or. 478] HADLOCK, C.J.

         Plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the trial court dismissing her claims for personal injuries against defendants, her employer and supervisor, after granting defendants' motion for summary judgment. We conclude that the trial court erred in granting defendants' motion and therefore reverse and remand.

         In reviewing the trial court's ruling on defendants' motion for summary judgment, we view the record in the light most favorable to plaintiff to determine whether there is a genuine issue of material fact and, if not, whether defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. ORCP 47 C. We summarize the largely undisputed relevant facts from the record on summary judgment. Plaintiff worked for defendant O'Brien Constructors, LLC, as a temporary office assistant. After declining invitations on four or five occasions to join her supervisor, defendant O'Brien, and other employees for drinks after work, plaintiff reluctantly agreed to attend a gathering, feeling pressured to do so to advance in her job. O'Brien, plaintiff, and other employees left work a bit early on the day in question and went to a restaurant, La Costita, where O'Brien paid for drinks and plaintiff drank to the point of intoxication. After leaving La Costita, plaintiff drove her car the wrong way on a freeway exit ramp and was seriously injured in a head-on collision.

         Plaintiff brought this action against O'Brien and O'Brien Constructors, LLC (defendants).[1] As against O'Brien individually, plaintiff's first amended complaint alleged that O'Brien was negligent:

"a) In organizing, arranging, and supervising an employee function [at La Costita] knowing that excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages would be purchased for, served to, and consumed by the employees attending the function;
"b) In pressuring plaintiff to attend the function, in spite of her previous refusals of previous invitations, by [288 Or. 479] creating the impression that her advancement in the company depended on [O'Brien] liking her, and that if she refused this invitation, after refusing prior invitations, that she would be less likely to retain her position or obtain desired promotions within the company;
"c) In failing to warn plaintiff that excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages would be purchased for, served to, and expected to be consumed by the employees ...

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