Beers v. Martin, 30356.

Decision Date04 March 1948
Docket Number30356.
Citation190 P.2d 573,30 Wn.2d 1
PartiesBEERS v. MARTIN et al.
CourtWashington Supreme Court

Department 1

Action by Paul E. Beers against Lee Martin and Elmer Swanson, to recover the purchase price of three trucks, wherein defendants counterclaimed. Judgment for plaintiff and defendants appeal.


Appeal from Superior Court, Jefferson County; Ralph Smythe, judge.

Custer & Custer and Claude E. Stevens, both of Seattle, for appellants.

W. J Daly, of Port Townsend, for respondent.


This is an appeal from a judgment in favor of respondent against appellants, in the sum of $22,000.

Plaintiff's complaint alleged that on or about the 23d day of September 1946, he sold and delivered three trucks to defendants, for which they promised to pay the sum of $22,000, and that they have not paid the sum of $22,000, nor any part thereof.

Defendants' answer denied all of the foregoing with the exception that they admitted not paying any portion of the $22,000.

As an affirmative defense the defendants alleged an oral agreement between plaintiff and defendant Elmer Swanson for the sale of the trucks; that Beers represented himself to have clear title thereto, which he did not have; that, as an inducement for the sale, Beers guaranteed the tires on the trucks to be usable for logging purposes for six months; that it was understood that the property was to used for logging purposes and that it was reasonably adaptable to such use; that the trucks were returned October 7, 1946, because they were useless and because the tires were worm out; that in October 1946, Beers informed Swanson that he was not the owner of the property and directed him to deal with R. L. Parker Co., of Tacoma, which Swanson did, but could not close the negotiations. Defendants counterclaimed for judgment in the sum of $10,000 for damages for failure to deliver the trucks according to agreement; for $700 expended for repairs of motor; for $2,240 as the reasonable value of the use of the tires for six months and for $186.50 as damages for the removal of licenses.

The testimony introduced by both sides is rather sketchy. Each witness, instead of assisting the trial court to learn the facts as they actually existed, seemed bent on testifying to only so much as would serve the cause which he espoused, and when an attempt was made to bring out the facts, became evasive. It appears to us that these tactics were not used by the attorneys, but by the parties themselves. A lawsuit is not a game of skill in which a litigant may maneuver himself into a favorable position and his opponent into an unfavorable position. It is a proceeding in which the parties should lay their cards on the table, face up, and permit the trier of facts to determine, from what has been disclosed the proper solution of the problem confronting them. If the trial court should fail to analyze the facts correctly, or should not correctly apply the facts to the law, the aggrieved party...

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2 cases
  • Valley Transp. System v. Reinartz
    • United States
    • Arizona Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1948
  • Kuhnhausen v. England
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • May 13, 1971
    ...examination of the testimony and the exhibits, to ferret out to our satisfaction the true facts in this case * * *' Beers v. Martin, 30 Wash.2d 1, 3, 190 P.2d 573, 574 (1948). Our task, then, is to determine whether these findings of fact support the trial court's conclusions of law. Ebenez......

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