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Catron v. Lewis

Nebraska Supreme Court
712 N.W.2d 245 (2006)


Facts

Gaylen Catron (plaintiff) was driving his boat on a lake with his daughter’s friends in tow in tubes. The friends were named Samantha Rader and Aimee Stuart. The ropes connecting the tubes to the boat were 61 feet long. Skylar Panek (defendant) was driving a jet ski on the lake directly toward Catron’s boat. The jet ski was approximately 75 yards from the boat when Panek turned away from the boat. In doing so, Panek ran into and killed Rader. Catron jumped into the water and swam to Rader, taking her back to the boat, but Rader was unresponsive. After the incident, Catron became depressed and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Catron brought suit for negligent infliction of emotional distress against Panek and Marvin Lewis (defendant), the owner of the jet ski. Catron stated that he had been afraid Panek was going to hit his boat, but only when Panek was headed directly for the boat, not after Panek turned. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Catron appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McCormack, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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