Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Ray v. Downes

South Dakota Supreme Court
576 N.W.2d 896 (1998)


Donald Ray (plaintiff) worked on a farm owned by Harold Downes (defendant). Ray was an experienced farm worker. Downes hired John Wieczorek (defendant) to harvest the farm’s soybean and corn crops. Wieczorek assigned the work to two of his employees, including Phillip Waldner (defendant). Part of harvesting involved driving an 18-wheel tractor-trailer filled with soybeans and corn to the storage bins located on another part of Downes’ farm, then unloading the crops to the bins. The process of unloading the tractor trailer involved parking close to the bin, then positioning an auger beneath the truck. Downes did not ask Ray to help with the harvest. However, Ray observed that Waldner was having difficulty getting the auger beneath his truck near one of the bins. Ray offered to help Waldner by shoving the auger under the truck while Waldner drove the truck. Ray would motion and “holler” for Waldner to stop driving once the auger was in place. Ray got under the truck and put the auger in place while Waldner drove. Waldner did not hear Ray holler and did not see Ray’s signals. The rear wheels of the truck caught Ray’s foot, then ran over his leg and pinned him. Ray was seriously injured. Ray and his wife, Levena Ray, sued Downes, Wieczorek, and Waldner for negligence and loss of consortium. The defendants argued that Ray assumed the risk of his injuries by volunteering to help Waldner. They moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Rays appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gilbertson, J.)

Dissent (Miller, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 498,000 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.

  2. 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 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial