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Contracts Keyed to Summers
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. v. G.W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Co.
Citation:69 Cal.2d 33, 442 P.2d 641
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
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Access the most important case brief elements for optimal case understanding.
*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“Pacific”) (plaintiff) contracted with G.W. Thomas Drayage & Rigging Company (“Thomas”) (defendant) for the latter to furnish labor and equipment to remove and replace its steam turbine. The parties’ contract contained an indemnity clause that stated Thomas “at [its] own risk and expense” would “indemnify” Pacific “against all loss, damage, expense and liability resulting from […] injury to property, arising out of or in any way connected with the performance of this contract.” During the work, the cover fell and damaged the turbine. It cost Pacific $25,144.51 to repair the turbine and it sued Thomas for damages. At trial, Thomas offered to prove by extrinsic evidence that the indemnity clause was meant to cover only injury to property of third parties, not to Pacific’s property. The trial court determined that the plain language of the agreement required Thomas to indemnify Pacific for injuries to property. The trial court refused to admit Thomas’ extrinsic evidence.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.