From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. G.W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Co.
Supreme Court of California
442 P.2d 641 (1968)
In 1960, G.W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Co. (Thomas) (defendant) entered into a contract with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) to provide labor and equipment necessary to remove and replace the upper cover for PG&E’s steam turbine. Thomas agreed to perform the work at its own risk and expense and to indemnify PG&E for any “loss, damage, expense and liability resulting from injury to property” or any other act associated with performance of the contract. During performance, the cover fell and damaged part of the exposed rotor of PG&E’s turbine. PG&E brought suit to recover $25,144.51 in damages. The trial court awarded judgment for PG&E on the ground that Thomas’ indemnity provision protected PG&E from damage to its own property. The trial court concluded that the “plain meaning” of the indemnity provision in Thomas’ contract was to permit indemnification of damage to PG&E’s property in addition to the property of third parties. The trial court admitted no extrinsic evidence on this issue. Thomas appealed, arguing that that extrinsic evidence should be admissible to show that the “plain meaning” of the indemnity clause was that it should only apply to damage of the property of third parties, not PG&E.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 201,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.