Case Style: Jeffrey Ensign v. P.A. Hayes
Case Number: CJ-2011-1049
Judge: Tracy Schumacher
Court: District Court, Cleveland County, Oklahoma
Plaintiff's Attorney: Julie Estelle Jansen, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Defendant's Attorney: Tim D. Cain, Wilson, Caine & Acquaviva, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Description: COMES NOW the Plaintiff, Jeffery Ensign and for his causes of action against the Defendants PA. Hayes and G.C. Hayes and states as follows:
1. The Plaintiffs a resident of Cleveland County, Oklahoma.
2. The Defendants P.A. Hayes and G.C. Hayes’ home is located at 15339 Goldbeck Oklahoma City, 73165 Oklahoma in Cleveland County.
3. On or about July 16, 2009, Jeffery Ensign was visiting his neighbors, PA. and G.C. Hayes, he went to the barn where he planned to help P.A. Hayes carry feed to the horses. Jeffery’s Grandmother had told him that P.A. I-Iayes had had surgery and that he should offer to help her carry buckets to the horses.
While helping P.A. Hayes feed and water the horses Plaintiff climbed upon a 1200 lbs. bale of hay to see where the feed should be delivered and stacked. The bale of hay he was standing on was next to a stake of bales that were 3 to 4 bales in height. While standing on the bale he looked to the south and the top bale tumbled down on top of him, pinning him to the bale on which he had been standing. At some point after the Plaintiff was pinned under the hay bale, G.C. Hayes arrived and assisted by Brandon Bishop used a tractor to remove the bale that was on top of the Plaintiff. Oklahoma City fire and rescue crews could reach him and provided him with
with emergency aid. Once freed from the bales of hay Mr. Ensign was then transported by the Med-Flight helicopter to OU Medical Center and Presbyterian Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
The hay that fell on the Plaintiff was negligently stacked as the bales were allowed to overlap making the top bale more likely to tip over and fall. The manner in which the hay was stacked made the hay unstable and constituted a trap and snare. This hazard was known or easily discerned by the Defendants and was unknown to the Plaintiff and all those similarly situated.
4. The Plaintiffs injuries included but are not limited to a back fracture, back pain, knee pain, arm pain, leg pain, leg weakness, dizziness, and disorientation from pain medication. The Plaintiff underwent surgery to repair his spine.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
5. On the afore mentioned date, Defendants knew or should have known that the overlapping uneven stack of hay created a foreseeable risk of harm to the Plaintiff and was likely to cause severe injury.
6. The Plaintiff was an invitee to which the Defendants owed a duty of care to inspect their property and warn of known hazards. The Defendants breached said duty.
7. The falling of the hay on the Plaintiff and resulting injuries were directly and proximately caused by the negligent acts of Defendants in the following respects:
a. Defendants failed to maintain the premises in a safe and proper condition;
b. Defendants failed to warn the Plaintiff of a hazard known to them created by the improperly stacked hay;
c. The Defendants allowed the Plaintiff to go the barn, when they knew or should have known, that the hay was improperly stacked and created a hazardous
dangerous condition known to them but concealed in the form of a trap or snare to the Plaintiff and others;
d. Defendant created the hazardous condition by allowing hay to be stacked in a negligent manner;
e. The Defendant failed to inspect and restack the hay when they knew or should have known that the improperly stacked hay created a hazardous condition;
f. That the injury was caused by the Defendant’s negligently stacked hay bales which were under their exclusive control and management of the Defendants.
g. That the overlapping stacked hay which caused the injury to the Plaintiff was a of a kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of negligence on the part of the person having exclusive control over the stacked hay bales.
8. As a direct and proximate result of the above mentioned negligence of Defendants, Plaintiff was injured in the following respects: Plaintiff’s head, back, arms, hands, hips, legs and the muscles, nerves, flesh, tendons and ligaments were bruised, fractured, wrenched, contoured and wounded.
9. As a further direct and proximate result of the mentioned negligence of Defendants, Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain of the body and mind. Plaintiff has lost natural sleep and rest and has been permanently injured. The said injuries are permanent, painifil, and progressive in nature. And as such the Plaintiff has lost earnings and earning capacity.
10. As a further direct and proximate result of the above mentioned negligence of Defendants, Plaintiff has and will continue to incur medical expenses.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Jeffery Ensign, prays judgment in an amount in excess of $10,000 and the amount required for diversity jurisdiction pursuant to Section 1332 of Title 28 of the United States Code, together with interest, attorney fees, cost of this action, and any other relief that may be available and deemed appropriate by the Court.
ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS
COME NOW defendants P.A. Hayes and G.C. Hayes, and for their Answer to the Petition filed herein by plaintiff, allege and state as follows:
Defendants deny genera’ly and specifically each and every allegation directed against them except those which may be specifically admitted herein.
Paragraph 1 is admitted.
Paragraph 2 is admitted.
With regard to paragraph 3, defendants generally admit that the plaintiff was injured on the defendants’ premises on or about the date alleged. Defendant PA. Hayes admits that the plaintiff arrived at the defendants’ premises and volunteered to help with feeding the horses. Defendant P.A. Hayes had actually gone into the house to get the plaintiff something to drink, and when she came back to the barn she found plaintiff pinned under the hay bale. Defendants
are therefore are not aware of what actions or inactions were taken by the plaintiff prior to his injury. Defendants admit they assisted in freeing the plaintiff. Defendants deny generally and specifically any negligence on their part. They deny generally and specifically any knowledge on their part of any hidden trap, snare or pitfall. In the alternative they contend that any condition existing on the premises was open and obvious. Any remaining allegations are denied and strict proof is demanded.
With regard to paragraph 4, defendants admit that the plaintiff sustained certain injuries. They are without knowledge as to the extent of those injuries and therefore respectfully deny the same and demand strict proof.
Paragraph 5 is denied.
Paragraph 6 is denied.
Paragraph 7 and its subparts, a through g, are denied.
With regard to paragraph 8, defendants deny generally and specifically any negligence on their part. They are without knowledge as to the extent of the injuries claimed by plaintiff and therefore deny the same and demand strict proof.
With regard to paragraphs 9 and 10, defendants deny generally and specifically any negligence on their part. They are without knowledge as to the extent of the damages, injuries, lost earnings, lost earning capacity and/or medical expenses incurred by plaintiff and therefore these paragraphs are denied and strict proof is demanded.
Plaintiffs prayer for relief is denied and strict proof is demanded.
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
The plaintiff was negligent and such negligence on the part of the plaintiff proximately caused or contributed to the accident and plaintiffs damages, if any, and such negligence on the part of the plaintiff comparatively was greater than the negligence of the defendants and plaintiff is therefore not entitled to recover herein.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiff voluntarily assumed the risk of a known danger and is not entitled to recover herein.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Defendant was confronted with a sudden emergency not brought about by defendants’ negligence and in reacting to that emergency defendants acted as reasonable and prudent persons would have acted under such circumstances.
FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Act of God.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Unavoidable accident, casualty and misfortune.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Third party negligence or responsibility.
SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Any condition existing on the premises was equally observable to plaintiff as it was to the defendants.
EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Open and obvious.
NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Defendants deny at the time of the incident the hay was under their exclusive control and management and further deny that this type of accident ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someone’s negligence.
TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiff was a licensee. The duty to a licensee is to not injure him by a willful or wanton act or by needlessly exposing him to danger by a failure to warn of a hidden danger on the premises that is known to the occupant and that the licensee is not likely to discover by himself. This duty is limited to any hidden danger that the occupant actually knows about, and the occupant has no duty to inspect the premises for hidden dangers. The defendants did not have any prior knowledge of any hidden danger.
ELEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
As discovery is beginning, defendants reserve the right to plead and prove additional Affirmative Defenses as warranted by the facts of this case.
Outcome: Come now the plaintiff, Jeffery Ensign, and his attorney of record, Julie E. Jansen, stating they have received full satisfaction of all their claims, and dismiss the above-styled and numbered cause with prejudice toward the bringing of any further action, each party to bear their own costs.