A truck belonging to Combined Transport, Inc. (Combined) (defendant) spilled its contents on a highway. The spill forced Mark Lasley to stop his vehicle. Judy Clemmer (defendant) hit Lasley's vehicle with such force that the car burst into flames, killing him. Mark’s father Clarence Lasley (plaintiff) sued Clemmer and Combined, alleging that both were negligently liable for his son's death. Clemmer admitted liability, but Combined denied liability. The trial court granted Lasley's motion in limine to exclude evidence that Clemmer was intoxicated when the accident occurred. The jury found Clemmer 78 percent responsible for Mark’s death and Combined 22 percent responsible. Combined appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial judgment on the grounds that evidence of Clemmer's intoxication was improperly excluded. Lasley appealed to the Supreme Court of Oregon.