Biddle v. Boyd

CourtSuperior Court of Delaware
Writing for the CourtLAYTON, Chief Justice.
Citation199 A. 479
PartiesBIDDLE v. BOYD et al.
Decision Date09 May 1938
199 A. 479

BIDDLE
v.
BOYD et al.

Superior Court of Delaware. New Castle.

May 9, 1938.


199 A. 479

Action for injuries received in automobile collision by Ruth C. Biddle against Rachel E. Boyd and another. On the named defendant's demurrer to the declaration.

Demurrer sustained.

LAYTON, C. J., and HARRINGTON and RICHARDS, JJ., sitting.

Thomas H. Wingate, of Wilmington, for plaintiff. Herbert H. Ward, Jr. (of Ward & Gray), of Wilmington, for defendant.

Superior Court, New Castle County, May Term, 1938. Demurrer to Declaration.

The declaration alleged that the plaintiff was a guest passenger in an automobile being driven by the defendant in a southerly direction on a four lane highway near the entrance to the Delaware State Hospital at Farnhurst; that an automobile owned and operated by Robert Goodrich had stopped on the extreme westerly lane of the highway near the entrance to the hospital, headed south; that the rear light of the Goodrich car and the two headlights of the defendant's car were lighted; that as the defendant's car approached the point where the Goodrich car was stopped and when the defendant's car, proceeding at thirty miles an hour, was at least one hundred and twenty five feet distant therefrom, the plaintiff, having observed the Goodrich car, warned the defendant to look out for it; that at the time of warning there were three traffic lanes of the highway unobstructed, and the defendant had ample time to turn her car into one of the lanes to avoid striking the Goodrich car; that it became the defendant's duty to heed the warning and refrain from disregarding wantonly the rights of the plaintiff; that, notwithstanding, the defendant in violation of the statute, wantonly disregarding the rights of the plaintiff and the warning given by the plaintiff, drove her car into and against the rear of the Goodrich car, as a result of which the plaintiff was injured.

LAYTON, Chief Justice, delivering the opinion of the Court:

Under the provisions of the statute, chapter 26, vol. 38, Del.Laws, section 5713, Rev.Code 1935, one riding as a guest in an automobile has no right of action for damages resulting from injury against the host in case of accident unless such accident shall have been intentional, or caused by wilful or wanton disregard of the rights of others.

In Gallegher v. Davis, 7 W.W. Harr. 380, 37 Del. 380, 183 A. 620, this Court held that, under the statute, negligence, as that term is properly understood in law, is eliminated as a basis of liability.

199 A. 480

This view of the statute was approved by the Supreme Court. Law v. Gallegher, 197 A. 479. There, wanton conduct was...

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9 practice notes
  • Morris v. Blake
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • May 6, 1988
    ...of this issue. Creed v. Hartley, Del.Super., 199 A.2d 113 (1962), aff'd, Del.Supr., 196 A.2d 224 (1963), citing Biddle v. Boyd, Del.Super., 199 A. 479 (1938). Although the question of whether conduct is wanton is usually to be determined by the jury, there are instances where the issue of w......
  • Covington v. Carley, 35700.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 27, 1944
    ...v. Davis, 7 W.W.Harr., Del., 380, 183 A. 620; Law v. Gallegher, 9 W.W.Harr., Del., 189, 197 A. 479; Biddle v. Boyd, 9 W.W.Harr., Del., 346, 199 A. 479; Robb v. Ramey Associates, Inc., 1 Terry, Del. 520, 14 A.2d 394. Otherwise expressed, wantonness is a failure or refusal to exercise any car......
  • Huffman v. Gray
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • July 2, 1949
    ...W. W. Harr., Del. 380, 183 A. 620; Law v. Gallegher, W. W. Harr., Page 90 Del., 189, 197 A. 479; Biddle v. Boyd, 9 W. W. Harr., Del., 346, 199 A. 479; Robb v. Ramey Associates, Inc., 1 Terry, Del. 520, 14 A.2d 394. Otherwise expressed wantonness is a failure or refusal to exercise any care,......
  • Biddle v. Boyd
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • May 9, 1938
    ...199 A. 479 39 Del. 346 RUTH C. BIDDLE v. RACHEL E. BOYD (who was sued with Robert Goodrich) Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle CountyMay 9, Superior Court for New Castle County, May Term, 1938. Demurrer to declaration. The declaration alleged that the plaintiff was a guest passenger in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Morris v. Blake
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • May 6, 1988
    ...of this issue. Creed v. Hartley, Del.Super., 199 A.2d 113 (1962), aff'd, Del.Supr., 196 A.2d 224 (1963), citing Biddle v. Boyd, Del.Super., 199 A. 479 (1938). Although the question of whether conduct is wanton is usually to be determined by the jury, there are instances where the issue of w......
  • Covington v. Carley, 35700.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • November 27, 1944
    ...v. Davis, 7 W.W.Harr., Del., 380, 183 A. 620; Law v. Gallegher, 9 W.W.Harr., Del., 189, 197 A. 479; Biddle v. Boyd, 9 W.W.Harr., Del., 346, 199 A. 479; Robb v. Ramey Associates, Inc., 1 Terry, Del. 520, 14 A.2d 394. Otherwise expressed, wantonness is a failure or refusal to exercise any car......
  • Huffman v. Gray
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Tennessee
    • July 2, 1949
    ...W. W. Harr., Del. 380, 183 A. 620; Law v. Gallegher, W. W. Harr., Page 90 Del., 189, 197 A. 479; Biddle v. Boyd, 9 W. W. Harr., Del., 346, 199 A. 479; Robb v. Ramey Associates, Inc., 1 Terry, Del. 520, 14 A.2d 394. Otherwise expressed wantonness is a failure or refusal to exercise any care,......
  • Biddle v. Boyd
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Delaware
    • May 9, 1938
    ...199 A. 479 39 Del. 346 RUTH C. BIDDLE v. RACHEL E. BOYD (who was sued with Robert Goodrich) Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle CountyMay 9, Superior Court for New Castle County, May Term, 1938. Demurrer to declaration. The declaration alleged that the plaintiff was a guest passenger in ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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