Taylor v. Olsen Case Brief

Summary of Taylor v. Olsen 1978, Supreme Ct of Oregon

Facts: Ms. Taylor is traveling down a dark and windy road on a January evening. She strikes a splintered tree, which had shortly before fallen across said roadway. This roadway, a 2 lane blacktop highway, is said to have had a car travel past this particular spot about once every 2 minutes.

Procedure: TC enters a directed verdict for D Olsen. The high CT affirms.

Issue: Is the owner or possessor of the tree required to pay such close attention to her roadside trees under a general standard of reasonable care to prevent an unreasonable risk of harm? No.

Court’s Rationale: Requiring an owner to inspect every roadside tree on an area of land such as the one present in this case would make property ownership an untenable burden. There is insufficient evidence to prove that the D did not exercise reasonable care of the tree in question.

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