454 P.2d 638 (Or. 1969), Pearson v. Galvin

Citation:454 P.2d 638, 253 Or. 331
Opinion Judge:GOODWIN, J.
Party Name:Phil M. PEARSON, Respondent, v. Mary Lou GALVIN, Executrix of the Estate of Bernard J. Galvin, deceased, Appellant.
Attorney:Harold D. Gillis, Eugene, argued the cause for appellant. On the brief were Butler, Husk & Gleaves, Eugene. Lloyd V. Weiser, Portland, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Weiser, Bowles & Young, Portland.
Case Date:May 16, 1969
Court:Supreme Court of Oregon
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 638

454 P.2d 638 (Or. 1969)

253 Or. 331

Phil M. PEARSON, Respondent,

v.

Mary Lou GALVIN, Executrix of the Estate of Bernard J.

Galvin, deceased, Appellant.

Supreme Court of Oregon, Department 2.

May 16, 1969

Argued and Submitted Feb. 7, 1969.

Page 639

[253 Or. 332] Harold D. Gillis, Eugene, argued the cause for appellant. On the brief were Butler, Husk & Gleaves, Eugene.

Lloyd V. Weiser, Portland, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Weiser, Bowles & Young, Portland.

Before PERRY, C.J., and SLOAN, GOODWIN, HOLMAN and HAMMOND, JJ.

GOODWIN, Justice.

Defendant appeals from a judgment of $11,125 [253 Or. 333] general damages and $6,208 punitive damages in an action for false imprisonment.

The parties 1 are former friends and neighbors. The plaintiff was engaged in the crop-dusting business. He operated one aircraft and was interested in expanding his operation. In order to make a second aircraft available to the plaintiff, the defendant purchased one in his own name and allowed the plaintiff to use it. Apparently the parties contemplated that the plaintiff would eventually buy the airplane from the defendant.

Their friendship suffered a severe strain when the defendant asked the plaintiff to fly the defendant's plane from Condon, where it was being used to spray wheat fields, to Creswell for an annual inspection. The plaintiff was in the midst of a seasonal

Page 640

weed-control operation, and said that he needed the plane. The defendant insisted on the plane's immediate return. The plaintiff either misunderstood the defendant or disagreed with him. In any event, the defendant hired another pilot and instructed him to proceed to Condon and to fly the plane to Creswell. When the hired pilot appeared at the field near Condon where the plane was kept, the plaintiff got in the plane and took off, saying he would fly the plane to Creswell. The plane headed west, toward the Cascade Mountains. The hired pilot reported this transaction by telephone to the defendant. The defendant thereupon telephoned the Federal Aviation Administration in Redmond, asking the tower to try to hold the plane if it should land at Redmond. The plane did not land at Redmond. After calling Redmond, the defendant telephoned the [253 Or. 334] Eugene office of the Oregon State Police, and reported his plane either 'stolen' or 'taken without permission,' depending upon the version of the testimony the jury might believe.

Following the defendant's telephone call to the state police, the Eugene office of the F.A.A. also called the state police to report that the defendant's plane had been followed to an emergency landing strip near McKenzie Bridge. Apparently, the Eugene F.A.A. office also gave the police their first information about the name of the pilot of the missing plane.

Upon learning where the plane was, the Eugene office of the state police directed an officer patrolling in southeastern Lane County to proceed to McKenzie Bridge to check on the airplane. The officer proceeded toward McKenzie Bridge by way of the McKenzie River highway. Much of the highway lies in a deep canyon. The officer lost radio contact with his headquarters. Before losing radio contact, the officer had been advised by the Eugene dispatcher only that a stolen aircraft had landed at McKenzie Bridge. Meanwhile, the Eugene dispatcher attempted to clarify the identity of the pilot by calling the defendant. When the dispatcher learned that the defendant knew the pilot and that the plane officer attempted to radio the patrol officer officer attempted to radio the patrol ofoficer to tell him that he should make no...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP