Brickner v. Gooden, No. 47217

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtIRWIN
Citation1974 OK 91,525 P.2d 632
Decision Date16 July 1974
Docket NumberNo. 47217
PartiesTheodore J. BRICKNER, Jr., M.D., Petitioner, v. David S. GOODEN et al., Respondents.

Page 632

525 P.2d 632
Theodore J. BRICKNER, Jr., M.D., Petitioner,
v.
David S. GOODEN et al., Respondents.
No. 47217.
Supreme Court of Oklahoma.
July 16, 1974.

Green, Feldman & Hall by Wm. S. Hall, Tulsa, for petitioner.

Young & Peaster by Richard L. Peaster, Tulsa, for respondents.

IRWIN, Justice:

Respondents, in three separate actions, sought to recover damages against the petitioner

Page 634

for personal injuries resulting from an airplane crash near Mexico City, Republic of Mexico. Respondents alleged they were passengers in the airplane which was owned, operated, under the exclusive control of, and being flown by petitioner, and that the crash followed from the negligence of the petitioner in the operation and control of the airplane. None of the negligence alleged occurred elsewhere than in the Republic of Mexico.

Certain pleadings filed in the trial court placed in issue whether the rights and liabilities of the parties should be determined by the laws of Oklahoma or the laws of Mexico. The trial court held that the parties' rights and liabilities would be determined under Oklahoma Laws because Oklahoma had the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties.

The trial court sustained petitioner's motion to certify its Interlocutory Order for review by this Court. The question certified is:

'In tort actions, is the law of the place wherein the cause of action arose controlling on the substantive rights of the parties, or does the local law of the state which has the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties determine the substantive rights and liabilities of the parties?'

Petitioner contends that the doctrine of 'lex loci delicti' applies, i.e., that the law of the place of the injury or where the cause of action arose, determines the substantive rights and liabilities of the parties, and the substantive law of the Republic of Mexico is applicable in the case at bar.

Respondents contend that the substantive law of Oklahoma is applicable, i.e., the substantive law of the place having the most significant relationship with the occurrence and with the parties. In this connection, respondents point out that all the parties at all times material to this action were and still are residents of Oklahoma; the aircraft was hangared in Oklahoma where it was registered; and the trip originated and was to end in Oklahoma.

In Cherokee Laboratories, Inc. v. Rogers (1965), Okl., 398 P.2d 520, we held:

'Absent evidence demonstrating occurrence of negligence in Oklahoma sufficient to amount to or substantially contributing to proximate cause of accident causing plaintiff's decedent's death, as result of an accident in the State of Missouri, the amount of plaintiff's recovery in action in Oklahoma for wrongful death of husband under Missouri statutes creating cause of action for wrongful death and authorizing recovery of not to exceed $25,000.00 therefor, is limited by the amount fixed in such Missouri statutes.'

Subsequent to the promulgation of the Cherokee case (398 P.2d 520) in 1965, this Court decided Richey v. Cherokee Laboratories, Inc., and Wood v. Cherokee Laboratories, Inc., Okl., 515 P.2d 1377, in 1973. All three cases arose out of the same occurrence and all involved actions for wrongful death. We held the rule of law announced in the 1965 case (398 P.2d 520), governed the two cases decided in 1973 (515 P.2d 1377). The accident here involved occurred in 1971.

Four Justices of our Court in 515 P.2d 1377, in a special concurring opinion, were of the same view as the majority, that since the same occurrence and accident formed the basis for each of the three Cherokee cases, a different standard of recovery should not be allowed in the three cases. However, they expressed their views that we should overrule prospectively the application of the doctrine of 'lex loci delicti' in all multi-state tort actions and apply the local law of the state which had the most significant relationship with the occurrence and the parties in determining their rights and liabilities. The principles advocated in the special concurring opinion, in substance, are set forth in the Restatement (second) Conflicts of Law, §

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145, (proposed in the 1968 Official Draft), which provides:

'(1) The rights and liabilities of the parties with respect to an issue in tort are determinated by the local law of the state which, with respect to that issue, has the most significant relationship to the occurrence and the parties under the principles stated in § 6.

'(2) Contacts to be taken into account in applying the principles of § 60 to determine the law applicable to an issue include:

'(a) the place where the injury occurred,

'(b) the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred,

'(c) the domicil, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of business of the parties, and

'(d) the place where the relationship, if any between the parties is centered.

'These contacts are to be evaluated according to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue.'

The choice of law principles set forth in § 6, supra, provide that:

'(1) a court, subject to constitutional restrictions, will follow a statutory directive of its own state on choice of law.

"* * *."

Considering the circumstances presented, in connection with the change in decisional law in other jurisdictions hereinafter discussed, and the special concurring opinion of four Justices in 515 P.2d 1377, in 1973, we find it only appropriate that we should re-examine whether this Court should continue to follow the doctrine of 'lex loci delicti' regardless of the particular issues involved.

When this Court promulgated the Cherokee case in 1965, the general rule as to measure, extent, or amount of damages recoverable in a wrongful death action was to be determined by the law of the place where the wrong causing the death occurred. This rule was...

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82 practice notes
  • O'Connor v. O'Connor, No. 12770
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 1986
    ...Co., 443 A.2d 932 (Me.1982); Mitchell v. Craft, 211 So.2d 509 (Miss.1968); Kennedy v. Dixon, 439 S.W.2d 173 (Mo.1969); Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okla.1974); Casey v. Manson Construction & Engineering Co., 247 Or. 274, 428 P.2d 898 (1967); Gutierrez v. Collins, 583 S.W.2d 312 (Tex.19......
  • Chambers v. Dakotah Charter, Inc., Nos. 17400
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • June 3, 1992
    ...v. Olson, 194 N.W.2d 750 (N.D.1972); Morgan v. Biro Mfg. Co., 15 Ohio St.3d 339, 15 OBR 463, 474 N.E.2d 286 (1984); Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okla.1974); Erwin v. Thomas, 264 Or. 454, 506 P.2d 494 (1973); Gutierrez v. Collins, 583 S.W.2d 312 (Tex.1979); Forsman v. Forsman, 779 P.2d ......
  • Harvell v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., No. 102,128.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • July 3, 2007
    ...For example, in Bohannan v. Allstate Ins. Co., 1991 OK 64, 820 P.2d 787, the Court stated that "The reasons stated in Brickner[v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okl.1974)] for abandoning and rejecting the lex loci delictus rule in tort law are equally compelling for abandoning and rejecting the lex ......
  • Sexton v. Ryder Truck Rental, Inc., Docket Nos. 61606
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 14, 1982
    ...N.Y.S.2d 743, 191 N.E.2d 279, 280-283 (1963); NORTH DAKOTA: Issendorf v. Olson, 194 N.W.2d 750 (N.D., 1972); OKLAHOMA: Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632, 637 (Okl., OREGON: Casey v. Manson Construction & Engineering Co., 247 Or. 274, 277, 428 P.2d 898 (1967); PENNSYLVANIA: Griffith v. United......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
82 cases
  • O'Connor v. O'Connor, No. 12770
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 1986
    ...Co., 443 A.2d 932 (Me.1982); Mitchell v. Craft, 211 So.2d 509 (Miss.1968); Kennedy v. Dixon, 439 S.W.2d 173 (Mo.1969); Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okla.1974); Casey v. Manson Construction & Engineering Co., 247 Or. 274, 428 P.2d 898 (1967); Gutierrez v. Collins, 583 S.W.2d 312 (Tex.19......
  • Chambers v. Dakotah Charter, Inc., Nos. 17400
    • United States
    • South Dakota Supreme Court
    • June 3, 1992
    ...v. Olson, 194 N.W.2d 750 (N.D.1972); Morgan v. Biro Mfg. Co., 15 Ohio St.3d 339, 15 OBR 463, 474 N.E.2d 286 (1984); Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okla.1974); Erwin v. Thomas, 264 Or. 454, 506 P.2d 494 (1973); Gutierrez v. Collins, 583 S.W.2d 312 (Tex.1979); Forsman v. Forsman, 779 P.2d ......
  • Harvell v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., No. 102,128.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • July 3, 2007
    ...For example, in Bohannan v. Allstate Ins. Co., 1991 OK 64, 820 P.2d 787, the Court stated that "The reasons stated in Brickner[v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632 (Okl.1974)] for abandoning and rejecting the lex loci delictus rule in tort law are equally compelling for abandoning and rejecting the lex ......
  • Sexton v. Ryder Truck Rental, Inc., Docket Nos. 61606
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Michigan
    • June 14, 1982
    ...N.Y.S.2d 743, 191 N.E.2d 279, 280-283 (1963); NORTH DAKOTA: Issendorf v. Olson, 194 N.W.2d 750 (N.D., 1972); OKLAHOMA: Brickner v. Gooden, 525 P.2d 632, 637 (Okl., OREGON: Casey v. Manson Construction & Engineering Co., 247 Or. 274, 277, 428 P.2d 898 (1967); PENNSYLVANIA: Griffith v. United......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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