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Bayne v. Todd Shipyards Corp.

Washington Supreme Court
568 P.2d 771 (1977)


Larry Lee Bayne (plaintiff), an employee of a trucking company, was unloading a delivery at Todd Shipyards Corp. (defendant) when he fell from the loading platform and was injured. Bayne sued Todd Shipyards in a Washington state court, asserting that it was liable for negligence because its loading platform did not include a guardrail, as required by a state administrative regulation. The regulation at issue, Wash. Admin. Code § 296-25-515, required platforms four feet or higher from the ground to have railings. The regulation was promulgated by the Director of Labor and Industries for the purpose of protecting workers in the workplace. It was adopted after a public hearing as to which notice was sent to all establishments that would be affected by the rule. The trial court declined to instruct the jury that violation of the regulation was negligence per se. Instead, jurors were instructed that violation of the regulation was merely evidence of negligence. The jury found in favor of Todd Shipyards, and an appellate court affirmed. Bayne appealed to the Washington Supreme Court.

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