Bales for Food, Inc. v. Poole

CourtSupreme Court of Oregon
Citation246 Or. 253,424 P.2d 892
PartiesBALES FOR FOOD, INC., a corporation Appellant, v. Leslie E. POOLE, Respondent.
Decision Date15 March 1967

Richard H. Muller, Portland, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs were James M. Burns and Benson, Whitely, McLennan & Burns, Portland.

James R. Moore, Portland, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Mautz, Souther, Spaulding, Kinsey & Williamson, Portland.


O'CONNELL, Justice.

This is an action to recover money damages from defendant, a professional engineer, for failure to properly provide for parking facilities in connection with the construction of a building on a shopping center. Plaintiff appeals from a judgment in favor of defendant.

Plaintiff is the assignee of Odus Bales. Bales and defendant signed an American Institute of Architects standard form contract whereby defendant was to perform the usual duties of an architect in preparing plans and specifications for a shopping center and to supervise its construction. The contract provides that 'The Architect agrees to perform, for the abovenamed Project, professional services as hereinafter set forth.' Then follows the specific provisions of the contract, none of which are relevant to the solution of the present case.

The complaint alleges that during the course of constructing the shopping center building and after the building was too far along to permit correction of the defect, plaintiff discovered that defendant had carelessly misplaced the building on the site fifty feet nearer the street than planned. As a consequence the prime parking area in front of the shopping center was about 20,000 square feet less (and the less convenient parking area in the rear was 20,000 square feet greater) than it should have been.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges that defendant 'entered into an agreement' whereby defendant 'undertook to perform for said Bales professional services'; that 'in addition to the promises' of defendant contained in the written contract, defendant 'impliedly warranted that in performing his obligations and duties under said contract, he would use due care and skill of one practicing his profession.' The complaint goes on to allege that defendant breached the contract 'in that he failed to use due care, knowledge and skill in preparing and drafting the plans and specifications, and in supervising, inspecting and approving the construction.'

The complaint reveals that defendant's careless performance occurred more than two (but less than six) years before the action was commenced. Based on this, the trial court granted defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings. Plaintiff appeals from that judgment.

The trial court was of the opinion that the complaint alleged only a cause of action for negligent conduct and that the two-year statute of limitations (ORS 12.110) applied. Plaintiff contends that the action is for breach of contract and that the six-year statute of limitations (ORS 12.080) applies.

We held in Dowell v. Mossberg, 226 Or. 173, 181, 355 P.2d 624, 359 P.2d 541 (1961) that a complaint charging a doctor with a breach of contract in failing to exercise due care in the diagnosis and treatment of the plaintiff was an action in tort and not in contract. The court held that 'the contract of employment is a matter of inducement, and the failure to exercise due care in the parctice of the healing arts bring the substance of the action within the law relating to injuries to the person.' Similarly, in Vaughn v. Langmack, 236 Or. 542, 546, 390 P.2d 142 (1964), we held that 'an action for malpractice if an action for 'injury to the person or rights of another, not arising on contract''.

Plaintiff argues...

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22 cases
  • Widdison v. State
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • April 29, 2021 not moot under the doctrine of voluntary cessation. See Teamsters Local 222 v. Utah Transit Auth. , 2018 UT 33, ¶¶ 16–17, 424 P.3d 892, 424 P.2d 892.¶71 Admittedly, our older cases are not a model of clarity. But much of the confusion and imprecision is a relic of an era in which we some......
  • Johnson v. Star Machinery Co.
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1974
    ...the time of the act or omission complained of?'2 This is in accord with the view expressed by this court in Bales for Food v. Poole, 246 Or. 253, 256--257, 424 P.2d 892, 894 (1967), in which we said:'* * * From our analysis of the problem we have concluded that there is a need for change in......
  • Onita Pacific Corp. v. Trustees of Bronson
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • December 31, 1992
    ...losses caused by professional negligence. Ashley v. Fletcher, 275 Or. 405, 550 P.2d 1385 (1976) (architect); Bales for Food v. Poole, 246 Or. 253, 256, 424 P.2d 892 (1967) Other examples may be cited. An agent owes duties of care and loyalty to his or her principal. Lindland v. United Busin......
  • Redfield v. Mead, Johnson & Co.
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • July 19, 1973
    ...accomplish a particular result. 226 Or. at 181, 355 P.2d 624. We extended Dowell to another malpractice setting in Bales for Food v. Poole, 246 Or. 253, 424 P.2d 892 (1967), an action against an engineer who had contracted to perform professional services as an architect. The plaintiff alle......
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