Van Patten v. Gipson

Appellant Michael Van Patten was injured while working on a drilling rig. Van Patten filed suit against several of his co-employees, claiming their willful and wanton misconduct caused his injuries. The district court held as a matter of law that the co-employees' acts or omissions were not willful and wanton and granted their motion for summary judgment. Van Patten appealed. In support of his assertion that his co-employees acted willfully and wantonly, Van Patten relied heavily on the company's written policies and after-the-fact statements by upper level employees who were not present on the rig or involved in using the machinery. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that in light of the testimony of those who were involved, the policies and statements relied upon by Van Patten did not establish a genuine issue of material fact on the question of whether the co-employees knew the operation was dangerous and intentionally disregarded the danger. View "Van Patten v. Gipson" on Justia Law