Carpenter v. Snipes

Decision Date31 October 1950
Docket NumberNo. 33512,33512
Citation203 Okla. 534,223 P.2d 761
PartiesCARPENTER v. SNIPES et al.
CourtOklahoma Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court.

1. A demurrer to the evidence admits every fact which the evidence, in the slightest degree, tends to prove, and all inferences and conclusions which can be reasonably and logically drawn therefrom; and if there is a conflict in the evidence, that which is unfavorable to the party against whom the demurrer is directed is to be considered withdrawn.

2. In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, a demurrer to plaintiff's evidence should be overruled where there is competent evidence reasonably tending to support plaintiff's cause of action.

3. Where the evidence is such that reasonable men may fairly differ as to whether the facts constitute negligence, the question is one for the jury to decide.

4. Where the trial court sustains a demurrer to plaintiff's evidence and the record does not show that at the time plaintiff saved exceptions to such order but the record does show that the court later stated from the bench that the court had allowed plaintiff an exception to said order and the journal entry of judgment recites that plaintiff was allowed an exception to said order, the record is sufficient to preserve such exception.

Russell Morgan, Lee Gill, Oklahoma City, for plaintiff in error.

Richardson, Shartell, Cochran & Pruet, F. M. Dudley, Gilliland, Ogden, Withington, Shirk & Vaught, Oklahoma City, for defendants in error.

O'NEAL, Justice.

This is an appeal from a judgment for defendants in an action to recover damages for personal injuries.

On October 8, 1946, there was a collision of a truck-trailer and an automobile at the intersection of Northeast 36th Street and U. S. Highway 66, also U. S. Highway 77, and also referred to as Lincoln Boulevard. Said intersection was just outside the limits of Oklahoma City, the south line of Northeast 36th Street at that point being the north limits of Oklahoma City.

Plaintiff, Mary Eva Carpenter, was a guest passenger in an automobile driven by Rebecca Jane Stowers, and owned by W. Lloyd Stowers. Defendant, Evi B. Farley Snipes, was driving a truck-trailer as an employee of Robberson Steel Company.

The truck-trailer was proceeding on Northeast 36th Street going West. The automobile was going south on U. S. Highway 66. At that time there were stop signs on Northeast 36th Street about 125 feet east of the center line of the intersection. There was no stop sign on U. S. Highway 66. Plaintiff, Mary Eva Carpenter, was injured in the collision, and thereafter commenced this action against Snipes, Robberson Steel Company, a corporation, Rebecca Jane Stowers and W. Lloyd Stowers to recover damages for her personal injuries. In her amended petition plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of defendant, Snipes, and Robberson Steele Company, in that Snipes, the driver of said truck-trailer:

'* * * Carelessly, recklessly, and in gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, failed either to slow down substantially or to stop between said stop sign and the place of said collision at some point where he could reasonably see southbound traffic, such as said automobile, and thereby avoid any collision, when, he then knew or should have known, said stop sign was there as a warning to west-bound traffic upon said Thirty-sixth street to stop there, and traffic upon said Lincoln Highway would reasonably expect such west-bound traffic to recognize and obey said stop sign or at the least to slow down substantially at said stop sign or between it and said intersection, and the traffic there upon said Lincoln Highway was likely to be heavy, and said stop sign was there to indicate this fact to drivers of such west-bound traffic and the view there to the northward of drivers of such westbound traffic was obstructed as aforesaid, and said tractor-trailer was a long, heavy and unwieldy vehicle, and, therefore, the more likely to obstruct said intersection dangerously by totally or almost totally blocking the way of traffic there upon said Lincoln Highway.

'* * * That he carelessly, recklessly, and in gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, and under the conditions herein set out, drove said tractor-trailer to said intersection and into said intersection at a reckless and excessive rate of speed, to-wit, a speed of thirty-five miles or more per hour.

'* * * That he, carelessly and recklessly, and with gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, drove said tractor-trailer, as aforesaid and under the conditions aforesaid, up and across said intersection, his view to the northward was obstructed, as aforesaid, without having said tractor-trailer under control.

'* * * That he carelessly, recklessly, and with gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, failed to keep a proper look-out as he approached and drove into said intersection, when if he had kept a proper lookout there he would have seen said automobile in time to have avoided said collision and would have been able to have avoided same.

'* * * That he carelessly, recklessly, and with gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, drove said tractor-trailer out into said intersection and on out into the path of said automobile, so that, as a result thereof, said automobile could not avoid colliding with said tractor-trailer, and, thereupon, said Evi Snipes failed to swing or turn said tractor-trailer to the southward and clear the front thereof from the path of said automobile, which, in the exercise of ordinary and reasonable care he could and should have done, and when thereby he could have avoided said collision.

'* * * That, wrongfully, wilfully, and unlawfully, and with gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, he violated the rule of the road prescribed by the statutes of the State of Oklahoma, 69 Okla.Stat.Anno. § 583 under which said automobile, which was approaching from his right, was entitled to the right-of-way, and did not yield the right-of-way and keep said tractor-trailer out of said intersection or slow same down and permit said automobile to pass ahead and across said intersection.

'* * * That he, carelessly and recklessly, and with gross disregard of the rights of plaintiff, drove said tractor-trailer, as aforesaid, and under the conditions aforesaid, up to and across said intersection, where his view to the northward was obstructed, as aforesaid, without sounding his horn or giving any other signal of his approach.'

She also alleged negligence on the part of Rebecca Jane Stowers, but since plaintiff dismissed her action without prejudice as against Rebecca Jane Stowers and W. Lloyd Stowers, the allegations as to their negligence need not be considered.

Defendants, Snipes and Robberson Steel Company, filed their answer in which they admitted that Robberson Steel Company is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, and was duly authorized to transact business in the State of Oklahoma, and that defendant, Snipes, was at the time of said accident the employee of Robberson Steel Company and in the course of his employment. They plead contributory negligence on the part of plaintiff, and further alleged that said defendants were without fault in the premises, and that the accident and injury were due solely, directly and proximately to the negligence of Rebecca Jane Stowers.

The issues were tried to a jury and at the close of plaintiff's evidence defendants, Snipes and Robberson Steel Company, demurred to plaintiff's evidence. Said demurrers were sustained by the trial Court. Whereupon plaintiff dismissed her action without prejudice as to defendants, Rebecca Jane Stowers and W. Lloyd Stowers. The Court dismissed the action as to defendants, Snipes and Robberson Steel Company, and plaintiff, after unsuccessful motion for new trial, appeals.

There are eleven assignments of alleged error, but those presented and relied upon all go to the general proposition that the Court erred in sustaining the separate demurrers of defendants to plaintiff's evidence and in entering judgment for said defendants. It is the contention of plaintiff that the evidence, together with all reasonable inferences that might have been drawn therefrom, sufficiently show actionable negligence to justify submitting the issues to the jury. Under four specific propositions plaintiff asserts that there was evidence of actionable negligence in that (1) There is evidence that defendant was guilty of negligence in failing to yield the right-of-way to the vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger; (2) There was evidence of actionable negligence in that defendant failed to observe a stop sign; (3) That there was evidence of actionable negligence in failure to keep a proper look-out, and (4) That there was evidence of actionable negligence in driving the truck-trailer at an excessive rate of speed under existing conditions and circumstances.

The record shows that the paved portion of 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard are each 24 feet in width, with rounded corners at the intersection to facilitate turns into and out of the same at the intersection. The evidence shows that plaintiff on October 8, 1946, was a guest passenger in an automobile being driven by defendant, Rebecca Jane Stowers, when the automobile in which she was riding collided with the truck-trailer, or tractor-trailer, as it is sometimes referred to, at the above intersection; that before the collision said automobile was traveling south on U. S. Highway 66 and the truck-trailer was being driven by Snipes going West on 36th Street. The collision occurred in daylight about 3:30 o'clock p. m.

William B. Blood, a Highway Patrolman, or Trooper, with the Department of Public Safety, was called as a witness for plaintiff, and testified that he was called to come to the scene of the collision; that he received the call about 3:40 o'clock p. m., and arrived at the scene of the collision at...

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8 cases
  • Fielding v. Dickinson, 34046
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • April 17, 1951
    ...the demurrer or motion is directed is to be considered as withdrawn. Carter v. Pinkerton, 194 Okl. 34, 146 P.2d 842; Carpenter v. Snipes et al., Okl.Sup., 223 P.2d 761. Under that rule, in case of conflict, all the evidence of defendant unfavorable to plaintiff intended to prove that plaint......
  • People v. McIntosh
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • April 28, 1970
    ...Hamilton v. Cadwell (1938), 195 Wash. 683, 81 P.2d 815; People v. Ubertini (1943), 182 Misc. 634, 51 N.Y.S.2d 62; Carpenter v. Snipes (1950), 203 Okl. 534, 223 P.2d 761; Clifton v. Turner (1962), 257 N.C. 92, 125 S.E.2d 339. Placement of the sign some distance from the intersection of a ser......
  • Broome v. Atchison, T. & S.F. Ry. Co.
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • November 3, 1953
    ...which the evidence, considered in the light most favorable to him, reasonably tends to prove.' In the case of Carpenter v. Snipes, 203 Okl. 534, 223 P.2d 761, 762, syl., pars. 1, 2, and 3, we recently 'A demurrer to the evidence admits every fact which the evidence, in the slightest degree,......
  • Independent School Dist. No. 65, Wagoner County v. Stafford
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • June 2, 1953
    ...tended in the slightest degree to prove, together with all logical and reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom. Carpenter v. Snipes, 203 Okl. 534, 223 P.2d 761. Upon this basis it was established that plaintiff had entered into a valid and approved contract, that there were funds availa......
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