STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Gregory G. Galler,
Ruth H. Arnason-Moe,
Filed January 4, 2000
Washington County District Court
File No. C199422
Jim Kremer, 3920 Northwoods Drive, Arden Hills, MN 55112 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Crippen, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
Appellant disputes the trial court's summary judgment that she was fully responsible as a matter of law for a collision involving two motor vehicles. We reverse and remand.
Because questions of negligence involve issues of causation and reasonableness, which are more suitable for jury consideration, they are usually inappropriate for summary judgment. See Teas v. Minneapolis St. Ry. Co., 244 Minn. 427, 434, 70 N.W.2d 358, 363 (1955) (finding that it is "only in the clearest of cases that the question of negligence becomes one of law"). Only when there are undisputed material facts that compel one conclusion as a matter of law may a trial court enter summary judgment on the issue of negligence. Sauter v. Sauter, 244 Minn. 482, 486, 70 N.W.2d 351, 354 (1955); see also Abo El Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580, 582-83 (Minn. App. 1991).
Appellant, whose vehicle was struck on its right rear side, points to evidence that respondent admitted he could have avoided the collision if it had not been for rainy conditions. There may be merit in the trial court's conclusion that respondent's failure to avoid the accident did not preclude a finding that appellant was negligent, but the evidence destroys the cause for judgment that there was no fault whatsoever on respondent's part.
The trial court could not attribute all fault to appellant on the basis of a witness's affidavit that respondent was driving appropriately under the circumstances. See, e.g., Gordon v. Herzog, 410 N.W.2d 405, 409 (Minn. App. 1987) (several issues, including questions of comparative fault and genuine material facts, precluded summary judgment: "[a]ppellant is entitled to advance his theories to a jury and an opportunity to prove his negligence was at most equal to respondents").
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to appellant, as we must, see Fabio, 504 N.W.2d at 761, the evidence creates a genuine issue of material fact as to whether some fault is attributable to respondent regarding his speed and his lookout under the circumstances.
 The trial court order granted judgment for respondent without acting on appellant's counterclaim. We have nonetheless determined that the court's judgment was final and appealable because, as it finds appellant completely at fault, it necessarily implies a denial of her counterclaim.