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McLain v. Boise Cascade Corp.

533 P.2d 343 (1975)

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McLain v. Boise Cascade Corp.

Oregon Supreme Court

533 P.2d 343 (1975)

Facts

Wayne McLain (plaintiff) worked for Boise Cascade Corporation (Boise) (defendant). McLain injured his back at work and started receiving workers’-compensation payments. McLain’s doctor advised Boise that McLain might be disabled for up to 12 months. Boise arranged for another doctor to take an X-ray. The consulting doctor informed Boise that McLain might be feigning disability. McLain was told his workers’-compensation benefits would be discontinued. McLain returned to work but remained in pain. McLain retained an attorney to seek reinstatement of his workers’-compensation benefits. Boise hired United Diversified Services, Inc. (United) (defendant) to conduct surveillance of McLain. United’s employees filmed McLain during daylight hours while he was engaged in activities on his property outside his home. Some filming was done from a neighbor’s barn, and some was likely done from a narrow strip on the border of McLain’s property. The investigator was unaware that he was on McLain’s property. McLain noticed the investigator once, and the investigator left the area. McLain did not know he had been filmed until the film was shown at the workers’-compensation hearing. McLain acknowledged at the hearing that the activities in which he had been engaged could have been seen by neighbors or passersby and that he was not embarrassed or upset by the surveillance. He was angry about being filmed without having been informed, and he did not believe anyone had the right to be on his property without permission. The court granted Boise and United’s motion for a nonsuit. McLain appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McAllister, J.)

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