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Ocotillo West Joint Venture v. Superior Court for the County of Maricopa

844 P.2d 653 (1992)

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Ocotillo West Joint Venture v. Superior Court for the County of Maricopa

Arizona Court of Appeals

844 P.2d 653 (1992)

Facts

Joseph Zylka and William Easley were playing golf and drinking alcohol one day at the Ocotillo golf course (the golf course), owned by Ocotillo West Joint Venture (defendant). Zylka appeared intoxicated, so two employees of the golf course took his keys so he would not be able to drive home. At that time, Easley stepped forward and offered to drive Zylka home. Consequently, the employees gave Zylka’s car keys to Easley. Once Zylka and Easley went to the parking lot, Easley gave Zylka back his car keys, and Zylka proceeded to drive home. During his drive home, Zylka was killed in a one-car accident. As a result, Zylka’s family (plaintiffs) brought a wrongful-death suit against the golf course, claiming the golf course’s sale of alcohol to Zylka had caused the accident. The golf course argued Easley was partially at fault because he had offered to drive Zylka home but then had given the car keys back to Zylka. Zylka’s family asked the trial court to dismiss the allegation that Easley was a nonparty at fault, and the trial court obliged, finding that Zylka was not helpless and thus finding Easley owed no duty to help him. The golf course appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Voss, J.)

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