Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mostrom-Ose v. Rawlings Industrial, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 5, 2018

Jarod Mostrom-Ose Plaintiff,
v.
Rawlings Industrial, Inc., and Tinsley Consulting Group, LLC, Defendants, Rawlings Industrial, Inc., Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
Potlatch Corporation, Third-Party Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Paul A. Magnuson United States District Court Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Rawlings Industrial, Inc., and Tinsley Consulting Group, LLC. For the following reasons, the Motions are granted.

         BACKGROUND

         This lawsuit stems from injuries Plaintiff Jared Mostrom-Ose sustained at Third-Party Defendant Potlatch Corporation's saw mill in Bemidji, after Potlatch commenced a modernization project to upgrade the mill's saw line. Mostrom-Ose is a utility worker for Potlatch.

         The modernization project included the installation of two cranes that would rest on overhead tracks supported by steel beams. (Kirsch Decl. (Docket No. 93-1) Ex. 2 (Aube Dep.) at 9-10.) Potlatch hired MP-Squared Structural Engineers, LLC, [1] to create drawings for the project. (Id. (Docket No. 93-1) Ex. 9 (Anderson Dep.) at 13-16.) Potlatch separately contracted with Tinsley to perform “engineering related, project management and construction management services” related to the modernization project. (Lauricella Aff. (Docket No. 101-2) Ex. 2 (Service Contract) at 1.) Finally, Potlatch hired Rawlings to install the support beams and perform other work on site. (Aube Dep. at 16; Kreidler Aff. (Docket No. 72-1) Ex. B (Rawlings Dep.) at 106-07.)

         Rawlings installed one support beam only four feet, ten inches above an existing staircase that led to a catwalk. (Kirsch Decl. (Docket No. 93-2) Ex. 22 (Werlein Dep.) at 23.) Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) regulations require that the “[v]ertical clearance above any stair tread to any overhead obstruction [be] at least 6 feet, 8 inches.” 29 C.F.R. § 1910.25(b)(2). Rawlings claims that it installed the support beam as directed, but the construction drawings did not specify any catwalk in that location. Regardless, Rawlings could not have installed it in a different location or at a different height because the overhead crane tracks had to be at the same elevation throughout the mill for the two cranes to function properly.

         Rawlings notified Potlatch immediately after it installed the support beam. And apparently Potlatch had plans to relocate the catwalk. Potlatch employee Pete Aube testified that the steel “beams have to go” where they go, but moving catwalks at the mill is “very common.” (Aube Dep. at 66.) In the meantime, Potlatch attached padding to the edges of the support beam and painted that padding yellow. Potlatch also warned its employees of the hazardous condition, but Mostrom-Ose contends that no one warned him of the hazard.

         Nine days after Rawlings installed the support beam, Mostrom-Ose sustained severe injuries by hitting his head on it. (Kirsch Decl. Ex. 7 (Schimenek Dep.) at 29-30, 38-39; Aube Dep. at 9-10.) Mostrom-Ose contends that Defendants caused his injuries by creating a hazardous condition that violated OSHA regulations and contractual obligations, and the Second Amended Complaint claims that Defendants were negligent, negligent per se, strictly liable for failure to warn, and that Defendants breached an implied warranty. (2d Am. Compl. (Docket No. 18).) Defendants now move for summary judgment.

         DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is proper if there are no disputed issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court must view the evidence and inferences that “may be reasonably drawn from the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Enter. Bank v. Magna Bank of Mo., 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest on mere allegations or denials, but must set forth specific facts in the record showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986).

         A. Negligence Per Se

         Mostrom-Ose alleges that Defendants are negligent per se for violating OSHA regulations. But generally, “OSHA only governs duties that are owed by an employer to an employee.” Banovetz v. King, 66 F.Supp.2d 1076, 1081 (D. Minn. 1999) (Erickson, M.J.). Mostrom-Ose argues that OSHA regulations also govern Defendants' duties based on OSHA's multi-employer worksite policy. (See Lauricella Aff. (Docket No. 99-24).)

         In a multi-employer worksite, an “employer that caused a hazardous condition that violates an OSHA standard . . . is citable even if the only employees exposed are those of other employers at the site.” (Id. at 3.) However, even if OSHA governed Defendants' duties, the violation of an OSHA regulation cannot constitute negligence per se. Jones v. Spentonbush-Red Star Co., 155 F.3d 587, 595-96 (2d Cir. 1998); see Solo v. Trus Joist MacMillan, No. 02-cv-2955, 2004 WL 524898, at *7 (D. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.