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Ybarra v. Amoco Prod. Co.

ELR Citation: 29 ELR 21302
Nos. No. 98-2189, 185 F.3d 876/48 ERC 1957/(10th Cir., 06/16/1999)

The court holds that a district court erred in granting summary judgment to a carbon dioxide recovery plant that allegedly failed to warn two independent contractors testing the plant's heat exchange system of the danger of exposure to chemicals within the system. When the contractors' employees were cleaning the system, a chemical blew out of the system and drenched the employees. The plant initially warned the contractors' manager about dangers posed by the test site, but the contractors contend that after they arrived at the site, a plant employee told them that there were no dangers present. Relying on this statement, the contractors chose not to wear protective gear or to perform additional precautionary measures. The court first holds that the plant employee's statement may have modified the prior, formal warning given to the contractors' manager, and, thus created a factual dispute regarding the adequacy of the plant's warnings. Therefore, the court remands the case to the district court.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
James Klipstine
Law Offices of James Klipstine
1601 N. Turner St., Hobbs NM 88240
(505) 393-1869

Counsel for Defendant
Kenneth L. Harrigan
Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk
NationsBank Bldg.
500 4th St. NW, Ste. 1000, Albuquerque NM 87103
(505) 848-1800

Before Porfilio, McKay, and Lucero. JJ.