State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Century Home Components
Supreme Court of Oregon
550 P.2d 1185 (1976)
Century Home Components (Century) (defendant) had constructed prefabricated housing in a shed located sixty feet from State Farm Fire & Casualty’s (State Farm) (plaintiff) warehouse. A fire started in Century’s shed and spread to State Farm’s warehouse, damaging its property. Over fifty actions were filed by various plaintiffs against Century. Four cases went to trial, three of which ended in judgments favorable to the plaintiff. Century received one favorable judgment but two favorable jury verdicts, one of which was overturned on appeal. State Farm, which was not a party to any of the three prior cases, filed subsequent claims and argued that the three judgments against Century should preclude them from litigating the issue of liability again. The district court found for State Farm on the issue of collateral estoppel, and Century appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holman, J.)