Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Riley, 14204.

Decision Date09 January 1951
Docket NumberNo. 14204.,14204.
Citation186 F.2d 148
PartiesCARTER CARBURETOR CORP. v. RILEY.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit

William R. Gentry, St. Louis, Mo. and Glen W. Watkins, New York City (Frank H. Durham, Minneapolis, Minn., on the brief), for appellant.

Wilbur S. Lycan, Jr., Minneapolis, Minn. (Brenner & Bouchard, Minneapolis, Minn., on the brief), for appellee.

Before GARDNER, Chief Judge, and WOODROUGH and THOMAS, Circuit Judges.

GARDNER, Chief Judge.

This was an action brought by appellee against appellant to recover damages for personal injuries and for damage to property resulting from an airplane crash. The parties will be referred to as they were designated in the trial court. Plaintiff alleged that on or about June 12, 1948, he purchased from Van's Air Service, Inc., of St. Cloud, Minnesota, a certain Carter mechanical fuel pump manufactured and sold by defendant for use in Navion airplanes; that it negligently and carelessly manufactured and assembled said fuel pump and knew or ought to have known that it was defective when sold and that such defect would not likely be discovered; that among other acts of negligence defendant carelessly and negligently machined and finished the mating surfaces of the pump valve housing and lower dome casting and failed to make such mating surfaces true, even and flush with each other; and carelessly failed to inspect and test said pump; that by reason thereof on October 13, 1948, plaintiff's Navion plane was caused to crash after take-off from an airport in Vermillion, Alberta, Canada, resulting in injury and damages to plaintiff's person and property.

Defendant answered, denying negligence on its part and pleaded affirmatively that the accident resulting in injuries to plaintiff and his property was caused or contributed to by his own negligence and by the negligence of parties other than the defendant. The case was tried to a jury and at the close of all the evidence defendant moved for a directed verdict, which motion was denied, and the case was submitted to the jury on instructions to which neither of the parties saved any exceptions. The jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff for $6,250.00, for which amount judgment was duly entered. Defendant moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which motion was denied, and it prosecutes this appeal, seeking reversal on substantially the following grounds: The court erred in denying defendant's motion for a directed verdict because (1) plaintiff failed under the applicable law of Alberta, Canada, to establish the essential factors necessary as a basis for recovery for negligence by remote vendee against the manufacturer; (2) under the undisputed documentary evidence the question of proximate cause and intervening cause were for the court and not for the jury to determine; (3) the jury's implied finding that the accident was not proximately caused by intervening acts of third parties is not supported by substantial evidence; (4) under the federal rule it is necessary for plaintiff to offer substantial evidence in proof of his cause of action, a mere scintilla being insufficient and a scintilla of evidence is all that can be found in plaintiff's favor in the record in the case at bar; (5) the most that can be said in favor of plaintiff's case is that injury may have been caused by defendant's negligence or may have been caused by one or more other causes for which defendant would not be responsible so that the evidence does not clearly point to negligence on the part of the defendant as the proximate cause of plaintiff's injury.

Proof was offered as to the applicable law of Alberta, Canada, where the accident occurred and it is here urged that under the law of Canada as the defendant construes it, plaintiff has failed to establish the essential factors necessary to entitle him to recover because he was a remote vendee. We think we need not concern ourselves as to the law of Alberta, Canada, nor, indeed, need we inquire whether the law of Canada is different from the applicable law of the State of Minnesota. The court's instructions, not being excepted to by either party, became the law of the case and we must determine the question of the sufficiency of the evidence by the law as so announced. F. W. Woolworth Co. v. Carriker, 8 Cir., 107 F.2d 689; Guardian Life Ins. Co. v. Kissner, 8 Cir., 111 F.2d 532; Aetna Life Ins. Co. v. McAdoo, 8 Cir., 115 F.2d 369.

The jury having returned a general verdict in favor of the plaintiff, we must assume that it resolved all conflicts in the evidence in favor of plaintiff and in considering the question of the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain the verdict we must take that view of the evidence which is most favorable to the prevailing party. The question which we must determine is one of law; to-wit, whether or not there was substantial evidence to sustain the issues presented to the jury. The jury having found the issues in favor of plaintiff we must accept as established all facts which the evidence reasonably tended to prove and plaintiff is entitled to the benefit of all inferences which may reasonably be drawn from the evidence and circumstances proven. Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. Mackay, 8 Cir.,...

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10 cases
  • Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. v. Mitchell
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • January 22, 1963
    ...and circumstances proven." Railway Express Agency v. Mackay (8 Cir.), 181 F.2d 257, 259, 19 A.L.R.2d 1248; Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Riley (8 Cir.), 186 F.2d 148, 150; Black v. United States of America (8 Cir.), 309 F.2d 331; and Kelly v. Layton (8 Cir.), 309 F.2d A review of some of the f......
  • Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Black Hills v. Hubbard
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • April 27, 1953
    ...the law of the case for determining the sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict and judgment, citing Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Riley, 8 Cir., 186 F.2d 148. The plaintiff's statement, which finds support in many opinions of this Court,1 is an erroneous statement of the law, and i......
  • First Acceptance Corp. v. Kennedy
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Iowa
    • February 26, 1951
    ...given were not excepted to by either party. Under such circumstances they became and are, the law of the case. Carter Carburetor Corporation v. Riley, 8 Cir., 1951, 186 F.2d 148. As to many of the matters hereafter factually stated the evidence was in sharp dispute. However, at this stage i......
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Jackson
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Eighth Circuit
    • June 10, 1965
    ...290 U.S. 551, 54 S.Ct. 272, 78 L.Ed. 492 (1934); Railway Express Agency v. Mackay, 181 F.2d 257 (8 Cir. 1950); Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Riley, 186 F.2d 148 (8 Cir. 1951); Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. v. Mitchell, 312 F.2d 485 (8 Cir., 1953); Baker v. Chicago, Burlington and......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Avoiding product liability claims: how much testing is enough?
    • United States
    • Defense Counsel Journal Vol. 62 No. 3, July 1995
    • July 1, 1995
    ...of diseased meat, although it had been labelled "Inspected and Passed" by U.S. government). (44.)Cf. Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Riley, 186 F.2d 148, 151 (8th Cir. 1951), which addressed the opposite situation, wherein the court found that "proof that the Civil Aeronautics Administration ahd......

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