Gunn v. Hi- C- Home, Inc. (260 Or. 404, 490 P.2d 999)

Oregon-nursing-home-elderly-woman-abuse-200x300Articles: Oregon

Gunn v. Hi- C- Home, Inc. (260 Or. 404, 490 P.2d 999)

Gunn v. Hi- C- Home, Inc. (260 Or. 404, 490 P.2d 999)
Plaintiff (Appellee) – Elizabeth Gunn
Defendant (Appellant) – Hi- C- Home, Inc.
Supreme Court of Oregon (1971)
Plaintiff brought a negligence action against the owner/operator of the nursing home which she resided at. A bench trial was conducted and the court found for the plaintiff. The defendant appealed.
Elizabeth Gunn was a resident of Highland Convalescent Home which is was owned and operated by the defendant. Gunn was 80 years old when she moved into the home and had been slightly disabled by a stroke. She used a cane at time, but was ambulatory. At the time of her accident, Gunn had lived at the home for 2 months, but had been there before as an intermittent patient.


During a June day in 1967, Gunn was standing in the courtyard of the nursing home talking to another patient. The two ladies were standing a few feet away from a large pool that had a hydraulic fountain in it which sprayed water into the air and back into the pool. While the ladies were standing there, the fountain was turned on without any warning or notice. The loud sound of the pump turning on startled Gunn and caused her to fall and break her hip.


The court awarded judgment to the plaintiff.
Was there sufficient evidence for the court to find the defendant negligent in this case?
The court ruled that, based on Gunn’s age and physical condition, the defendant could have reasonably foreseen that the noise made by turning on the fountain while she was standing nearby would expose her to an unreasonable risk of harm.

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