744 P.2d 655 (Alaska 1987), S-1545, Bakke v. State

Docket Nº:S-1545, S-1670.
Citation:744 P.2d 655
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:Arnold BAKKE and Alice Bakke, Appellants/Cross-Appellees, v. STATE of Alaska, Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company, Inc., Successor in interest to Wrangell Lumber Company, Sykes Logging Company and John Does 1-5, Appellees/Cross-Appellants.
Attorney:Phillip J. Eide, Guess & Rudd, Anchorage, for appellants/cross-appellees. Anthony M. Sholty, Faulkner, Banfield, Doogan & Holmes, Juneau, and Joseph Geldhof, Asst. Atty. Gen., Grace B. Schaible, Atty. Gen., Juneau, for appellees/cross-appellants.
Judge Panel:Before RABINOWITZ, C.J., and BURKE, MATTHEWS, COMPTON and MOORE, JJ.
Case Date:October 30, 1987
Court:Supreme Court of Alaska
 
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Page 655

744 P.2d 655 (Alaska 1987)

Arnold BAKKE and Alice Bakke, Appellants/Cross-Appellees,

v.

STATE of Alaska, Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company, Inc.,

Successor in interest to Wrangell Lumber Company,

Sykes Logging Company and John Does 1-5,

Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

Nos. S-1545, S-1670.

Supreme Court of Alaska

October 30, 1987

Phillip J. Eide, Guess & Rudd, Anchorage, for appellants/cross-appellees.

Anthony M. Sholty, Faulkner, Banfield, Doogan & Holmes, Juneau, and Joseph Geldhof, Asst. Atty. Gen., Grace B. Schaible, Atty. Gen., Juneau, for appellees/cross-appellants.

Before RABINOWITZ, C.J., and BURKE, MATTHEWS, COMPTON and MOORE, JJ.

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the superior court in which appellees/cross-appellants

Page 656

State of Alaska and Alaska Lumber and Pulp Company (hereinafter State, collectively) were found ten percent and appellant Bakkes ninety percent responsible for property damage suffered by the Bakkes. The damage occurred when a landslide, which started on state property, entered the Bakkes' property. Such damage included damage to buildings and other structures, as well as to the real property. We remand with instructions.

I

An act or omission is said to be the proximate cause of an injury when the injury would not have happened "but for" the act or omission and reasonable persons would regard this act or omission as a cause and attach responsibility to it. E.g., Division of Corrections v. Neakok, 721 P.2d 1121, 1135 (Alaska 1986); State v. Abbott, 498 P.2d 712, 726-27 (Alaska 1972). A corollary of this statement is, of course, that if the injury would have happened in exactly the same manner in the absence of the act or omission, that act or omission is not the proximate cause of the injury. E.g., Markiewicz v. Salt River Valley, 118 Ariz. 329, 576 P.2d 517, 526 (Ariz.App.1978); Challis Irrigation Co. v. State, 107 Idaho 338, 689 P.2d 230, 235 (App.1984); see also Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 432(1) (1965). 1 An act or omission need not be the single producing cause of an injury to be a proximate cause, but need only be a producing cause. Sharp v. Fairbanks North Star Borough, 569 P.2d 178, 181 (Alaska 1977). A finding of proximate cause is normally considered to be factual in nature, e.g., Dura Corp. v. Harned, 703 P.2d 396, 406 (Alaska 1985); Turnbull v. LaRose, 702 P.2d 1331, 1336-37 (Alaska 1985); Sharp, 569 P.2d at 183-84, and as such will be reversed only when clearly erroneous. E.g., State v. Doyle, 735 P.2d 733, 738 n. 7 (Alaska 1987); Hebert v. Bailey, 672 P.2d 1307, 1309-10 (Alaska 1983); Jamison v....

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