Towe v. Sacagawea, Inc.Annotate this Case
In 2006, plaintiff was injured while riding his motorcycle on a private road that provided access to several pieces of property. On the upper part of the access road, a cable had been stretched across the road to prevent entrance to a quarry at the end of the access road. Plaintiff failed to see the cable in time to stop and was injured when his motorcycle hit the cable. Plaintiff brought this action for negligence against Rick and Sherry Matthews, doing business as Mountain View Rock, who had placed the cable across the access road where the road crossed onto their property. Plaintiff joined Re/Max Ideal Properties, Inc. (Re/Max), as a defendant in the action, on the theory that Re/Max, by advertising property along the access road as "for sale," was at least partly responsible for causing plaintiff to ride his motorcycle up the access road (since he had been interested in properties in the area served by the road). The trial court granted summary judgment for defendants, concluding as a matter of law that plaintiff was "100% responsible for his injuries and no reasonable juror could find otherwise." A majority of the Court of Appeals affirmed on the alternative grounds that Mountain View, as a matter of law, did not breach any duty of care that it owed to plaintiff and that Re/Max, as a matter of law, could not be found by a reasonable jury to have caused plaintiff’s injuries. The Supreme Court did not accept the trial court's conclusion that plaintiff was "100% responsible" for his injuries, and reversed the grant of summary judgment as to Mountain View; the Court affirmed as to Re/Max.