Orme School v. Reeves

In Orme School v. Reeves, 166 Ariz. 301, 802 P.2d 1000(1990), a student who had contracted salmonella filed a damage action against his school and the school's food service contractor. 166 Ariz. at 303, 802 P.2d at 1002. The school cross-claimed against the contractor and asserted it was a passive wrongdoer and was entitled to indemnity from the contractor because the student's injury had been caused by the contractor's active wrongdoing. Id. The school ultimately moved for summary judgment on its indemnity claim. Id. at 304, 802 P.2d at 1003. The evidence before the court reflected that during the period of time the student could have contracted salmonella, all of his meals had been prepared by the contractor with the exception of one meal prepared by the school. Id. at 303, 802 P.2d at 1002. There was no direct or circumstantial evidence the salmonella was attributable to any particular meal. Id. at 303-04, 802 P.2d at 1002-03. Between the contractor and the school, there was only a "remote possibility" the student had contracted salmonella from the one meal prepared by the school. Id. at 304, 802 P.2d at 1003. The superior court denied the school's motion for summary judgment, finding the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. Id. The Arizona supreme court disagreed and held the school was entitled to summary judgment because no reasonable juror could conclude from the evidence the school and not the contractor was actively responsible for the student's injury. Id. at 311, 802 P.2d at 1010.