Reed v. University of North Dakota and The North Dakota Association for the Disabled, Inc. case brief
Reed v. University of North Dakota and The North Dakota
Association for the Disabled, Inc. case brief summary
589 N.W.2d 880 (1999)
Plaintiff student appealed from the
decision of the District Court for Grand Forks County, Northeast
Central Judicial District (North Dakota), which dismissed his breach
of contract claim against defendant university, as well as his
negligence and in concert claims against defendant association. After
plaintiff sued to recover for personal injuries suffered as a hockey
player, defendants sought summary judgment based on res
CASE FACTS Plaintiff student had a national letter
of intent and played hockey at defendant university for two years
before being injured in a preseason hockey conditioning program. He
was severely dehydrated and required one kidney and two liver
transplants. Plaintiff sued defendant university for breach of
contract, and he contended that defendant association was liable
under negligence and in concert claims. Defendants moved for
dismissal on the grounds that a Minnesota lawsuit had resolved the
matter. The trial court granted summary judgment for defendants and
dismissed the case.
On appeal, plaintiff contended that the breach of
contract claim was not barred by res judicata, because the Minnesota
action did not result in a decision on the merits.
The Minnesota decision unequivocally decided the breach of
contract claim against defendant university and was entitled to full
faith and credit.
Claims against defendant association were also
properly dismissed, as N.D. Cent. Code § 32-03.2-02 limited
joint liability to persons who acted in concert.
The court declined
to broadly construe the statutory "in concert" language to
include concurrent negligence.
The court affirmed summary judgment for defendant university and
defendant association. Plaintiff student's breach of contract claim
against defendant university was barred by res judicata, and
defendant association was not liable because it did not act in
concert with defendant university. Suggested law school study materials
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