Huyck v. Hecla Min. Co., No. 12559

CourtIdaho Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSHEPARD; BAKES; BISTLINE
Citation612 P.2d 142,101 Idaho 299
Decision Date04 June 1980
Docket NumberNo. 12559
PartiesJames W. HUYCK, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. HECLA MINING COMPANY, a corporation; and James Striker, Defendants-Respondents.

Page 142

612 P.2d 142
101 Idaho 299
James W. HUYCK, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
HECLA MINING COMPANY, a corporation; and James Striker, Defendants-Respondents.
No. 12559.
Supreme Court of Idaho.
June 4, 1980.

Thomas A. Mitchell, Coeur d'Alene, for plaintiff-appellant.

William W. Nixon of Nixon, Nixon, Lyons & Bell, Coeur d'Alene, John G. Layman of Layman, Mullin & Etter, Spokane, Wash., for defendants-respondents.

[101 Idaho 300]

Page 143

SHEPARD, Justice.

This is an appeal from a summary judgment issued in favor of defendants-respondents, Hecla Mining Company and James Striker. We affirm.

Hecla Mining Company is the owner and James Striker the lessee of certain real property in Shoshone County, Idaho, upon which is located a mine. Access to the mine is provided by a private road known as Mill Creek Road, which is approximately one mile in length from the point at which it diverges from a public road. Approximately six months prior to the accident which is the subject of this litigation, Striker caused a barrier to be erected across that private road. This barrier consisted of two yellow posts on either side of the road between which was hung a one inch yellow steel cable, from which was hung an aluminum reflector some thirty inches long and three inches in width.

Plaintiff-appellant Huyck was riding a motorcycle in the company of his eleven-year-old daughter, who was also riding a motorcycle. Huyck, riding at 25-30 miles per hour, rounded a corner and traveled a slightly rising straight stretch of road until he collided with the cable stretched across the roadway. Huyck did not observe the cable until he was within approximately fifteen feet of it and was unable to stop his motorcycle or otherwise avoid striking it. At the time of the accident the weather was fair and visibility was good. Huyck had traveled the road many times between 1968 and the date of the accident in 1973. Huyck knew there were other cables across other roadways in the area, but did not remember observing this particular barrier prior to the accident.

Following the filing of plaintiff-appellant Huyck's complaint, defendants filed and Huyck answered interrogatories. Counsel for defendants took a deposition from Huyck, which consisted solely of questions propounded by defense counsel and Huyck's answers thereto. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, and affidavits in support thereof were filed by defendants. No affidavits or other documentation were filed by Huyck in opposition to the motion for summary judgment.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, holding that Huyck was a trespasser and that defendants had violated no duty to Huyck and hence were not liable for any injuries he may have sustained.

This Court has often stated that summary judgment should be granted only when the pleadings, depositions and admissions, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. The facts are to be liberally construed in favor of the party opposing the motion, who is also to be given the benefit of all favorable inferences which might be reasonably drawn from the evidence. Farmer's Ins. Co. v. Brown, 97 Idaho 380, 544 P.2d 1150 (1976); Salmon Rivers Sportsman Camps, Inc. v. Cessna Air Co., 97 Idaho 348, 544 P.2d 306 (1975); I.R.C.P. 56(c).

On appeal, Huyck argues that there was an implied invitation to use the road and hence he did not fall within the category of trespasser, as held by the trial court. Here, there is no question but that the road was private property and the record reflects no indication by Huyck that he believed it to be a public road. Huyck's argument is based on the fact that the private road connected with a public road, that at the juncture no signs were posted indicating the existence of private property, and that the barrier across the road was only placed 300 feet in distance from the mine, rather than close to the juncture with the public road. We disagree. We find no indication in the record that Huyck was lured onto the private road and thus met with a dangerous condition. We are cited to no rule of law which requires the owner or possessor of real property to place signs thereon indicating its status as private property. Huyck's own testimony indicated he had traveled the road many times over a period of five years, both in the winter and summer, and knew that it led only to a mine.

[101 Idaho 301]

Page 144

The same argument as to implied invitation was made in Bosiljevac v. Ready Mix Concrete Co., 182 Neb. 199, 153 N.W.2d 864 (1967). There, as here, plaintiff was injured while riding his motorcycle when he collided with a steel cable which had been strung across defendant's private road. The Nebraska court recognized that a private way may be constructed in such a way to amount to an implied invitation and a person using such a private road would not be a trespasser. However, the court stated that, "(t)he rules regarding the existence of an implied invitation, when it is difficult to distinguish a private road or way from a public road, have their limitations and in instances where the possessor of the land erects a barricade which is readily observable or posts notices indicating the nature of the private way, such rules are not applicable." Id. 153 N.W.2d at 867.

In the instant case, there is no showing but what the barrier was readily observable. Huyck indicates no conditions which would make the barrier less than readily observable. Any inferences militate against Huyck in that his daughter, who was riding her motorcycle some distance behind Huyck, was able to stop without striking the barrier.

Hence, we agree with the holding of the trial judge that Huyck's status was that of trespasser. See Bicandi v. Boise Payette Lumber Co., 55 Idaho 543, 44 P.2d 1103 (1935). Therefore, the duty of the defendants, as owners or tenants, was to refrain from wilful or wanton acts which might cause injuries. We further agree with the holding of the trial court that defendants-respondents had violated no duty.

It is also suggested that Rowland v. Christian, 69 Cal.2d 108, 70 Cal.Rptr. 97, 443 P.2d 561 (1968), and the annotation, Modern Status of Rules Conditioning Landowner's Liability Upon Status of Injured Party as Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser, 32 A.L.R.3d 508, should prompt this Court to abolish the distinction between trespassers, licensees and invitees as the controlling test in determining the scope and extent of the duty of care owed by landowners to entrants. We decline the invitation.

Rowland v. Christian, supra, involved a social guest, not a trespasser. Also, it has been argued that the basis for Rowland v. Christian, supra, was a particular California statute. We are cited to no parallel statute in Idaho. This Court, in Springer v. Pearson, 96 Idaho 477, 531 P.2d 567 (1975), stated, "(w)e decline to pass upon appellant's invitation for this Court to reassess well established precedent in this state recognizing distinctions between the duty of care owed to licensees and invitees. We continue to adhere to the distinctions most recently pronounced in Mooney v. Robinson. (93 Idaho 676, 471 P.2d 63 (1970))" Id. at 479, 531 P.2d at 569.

The order of the trial court issuing summary judgment in favor of defendants-respondents is affirmed. Costs to respondents.

BAKES, J., and MAYNARD and WALTERS, JJ. Pro Tem., concur.

BISTLINE, Justice, dissenting.

Simply put, the issue in the...

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35 practice notes
  • Shaw v. Petersen, No. 1
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • June 11, 1991
    ...declined to alter it. See Baldwin by Baldwin v. Mosley, 295 Ark. 285, 289, 748 S.W.2d 146, 148 (1988); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 301, 612 P.2d 142, 144 (1980); Bowers v. Ottenad, 240 Kan. 208, 211, 729 P.2d 1103, 1105 (1986); Kirschner v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co., 743 S......
  • Younce v. Ferguson, No. 52168-9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • September 11, 1986
    ...declined to do so. Whaley v. Lawing, 352 So.2d 1090 (Ala.1977); Bailey v. Pennington, 406 A.2d 44 (Del.1979); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 (1980); Hessler v. Cole, 7 Ill.App.3d 902, 289 N.E.2d 204 [724 P.2d 995] (1972); Gerchberg v. Loney, 223 Kan. 446, 576 P.2d 59......
  • Lohrenz v. Lane, No. 64618
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • February 27, 1990
    ...62 L.Ed.2d 744 (1980) (holding the propriety of a statutory scheme embodying the status classifications); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 (1980); Bowers v. Ottenad, 240 Kan. 208, 729 P.2d 1103 (1986); Murphy v. Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., 290 Md. 186, 428 A.2d 459 (......
  • O'GUIN v. Bingham County, No. 28210.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • June 18, 2003
    ...whom the landowner owes no legal duty until his presence is discovered. Id. at 552, 44 P.2d at 1102. Accord, Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 On the summary judgment motion, the district court heard evidence that the boys entered onto the County property where a canal ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
35 cases
  • Shaw v. Petersen, No. 1
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Arizona
    • June 11, 1991
    ...declined to alter it. See Baldwin by Baldwin v. Mosley, 295 Ark. 285, 289, 748 S.W.2d 146, 148 (1988); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 301, 612 P.2d 142, 144 (1980); Bowers v. Ottenad, 240 Kan. 208, 211, 729 P.2d 1103, 1105 (1986); Kirschner v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co., 743 S......
  • Younce v. Ferguson, No. 52168-9
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Washington
    • September 11, 1986
    ...declined to do so. Whaley v. Lawing, 352 So.2d 1090 (Ala.1977); Bailey v. Pennington, 406 A.2d 44 (Del.1979); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 (1980); Hessler v. Cole, 7 Ill.App.3d 902, 289 N.E.2d 204 [724 P.2d 995] (1972); Gerchberg v. Loney, 223 Kan. 446, 576 P.2d 59......
  • Lohrenz v. Lane, No. 64618
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • February 27, 1990
    ...62 L.Ed.2d 744 (1980) (holding the propriety of a statutory scheme embodying the status classifications); Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 (1980); Bowers v. Ottenad, 240 Kan. 208, 729 P.2d 1103 (1986); Murphy v. Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., 290 Md. 186, 428 A.2d 459 (......
  • O'GUIN v. Bingham County, No. 28210.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • June 18, 2003
    ...whom the landowner owes no legal duty until his presence is discovered. Id. at 552, 44 P.2d at 1102. Accord, Huyck v. Hecla Mining Co., 101 Idaho 299, 612 P.2d 142 On the summary judgment motion, the district court heard evidence that the boys entered onto the County property where a canal ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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