In Krinitt v. Idaho Department of Fish and Game, 2015 Opinion No. 89 (Sept. 25, 2015), the Idaho Supreme Court reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant. The decision is a good illustration of the relevance of circumstantial evidence on summary judgment and a basic summary judgment standard: all disputed facts must be liberally construed and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party.
The case involved a wrongful death action stemming from a helicopter crash. The plaintiff’s son flew employees of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to survey salmon spawning on the Selway River. The helicopter crashed, and an investigation revealed that a clipboard of one of the Department’s employees struck the tail rotor, causing the crash. The plaintiff claimed the accident was caused by the negligence of the Department or its employees.