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Murrell v. Goertz

Oklahoma Court of Appeals
597 P.2d 1223 (Okla. App. 1979)



Russell Westbrook was an independent newspaper distributor for the Oklahoma Publishing Company (OPC) (defendant). Westbrook hired Bruce Goertz as an “independent newspaper salesman” to deliver newspapers and collect subscribers’ money. OPC had no input into the hiring of Goertz and had no contact with Goertz after his hire. One day when Goertz was making his monthly collections, Mrs. C.L. Murrell (plaintiff) questioned him about damage to a screen door that she claimed resulted from the newspaper being thrown against it. The questioning led to an argument which led to Murrell slapping Goertz and Goertz striking Murrell, causing injury. Murrell brought suit in the District Court of Oklahoma County against both Goertz and OPC. OPC filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted. Murrell appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Reynolds, J.)

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