Citation. 81 Wn.2d 183, 500 P.2d 771,1972 Wash.
Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff, Clifford Freehe (Plaintiff), was injured on a negligently maintained tractor owned by the Defendant, Hazel Knoblauch (Defendant), his wife. Plaintiff had no interest in the tractor or the farming operation. Plaintiff brought suit, Defendant claimed interspousal immunity.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Supreme Court of Washington abandoned the interspousal immunity rule, allowing spouses to bring suit against one another in tort.
Facts. Plaintiff was injured on a tractor and sued for personal injuries. The tractor was the separate property of his wife, the Defendant, along with all of the assets and income of the farm on which the accident took place. Plaintiff has no interest in the farming operation, nor is he employed by the Defendant. Plaintiff brought suit, claiming negligent maintenance of the tractor and failure to warn of the tractor’s unsafe condition. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment based on interspousal tort immunity.
Issue. Was the trial court correct to grant defendant summary judgment based on interspousal tort immunity?