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Leach v. Gunnarson

Supreme Court of Oregon
619 P.2d 263 (1980)


Facts

The Leaches (defendants) owned a parcel of land on which a spring was located. In 1954, the Leaches sold a portion of their land to their in-laws, Henry and Betty Leach. The Leaches granted Henry and Betty the right to construct a small dam in the spring to carry fresh water across the Leaches land through a plastic pipe, to be used on Henry and Betty’s land. In 1975, the Leaches sold their land to Ove Gunnarson (plaintiff), granting Gunnarson a warranty deed. This deed included a covenant against encumbrances. Gunnarson accepted this deed with knowledge of the dam and pipe running across the land to Henry and Betty’s parcel. In 1977, Henry and Betty brought an action to have the dam and plastic pipe declared as an easement. Gunnarson denied Henry and Betty had a right to the spring and brought a third-party claim against the Leaches, claiming that if Henry and Betty did have a right to the spring, the Leaches breached the warranty against encumbrances. The trial court ruled in favor of Henry and Betty and dismissed Gunnarson’s claim. Gunnarson petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of Oregon.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Howell, J.)

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