Cooper v. Chapman

Citation289 S.W.2d 686,226 Ark. 331
Decision Date30 April 1956
Docket NumberNo. 5-908,5-908
PartiesR. O. COOPER, Appellant, v. Nettie M. CHAPMAN, Appellee.
CourtSupreme Court of Arkansas

Page 686

289 S.W.2d 686
226 Ark. 331
R. O. COOPER, Appellant,
Nettie M. CHAPMAN, Appellee.
No. 5-908.
Supreme Court of Arkansas.
April 30, 1956.

[226 Ark. 332] E. J. Butler, Forrest City, for appellant.

Mann & McCulloch, Forrest City, for appellee.

Page 687

ROBINSON, Justice.

While a guest in an automobile owned and operated by the appellant, R. O. Cooper, the appellee, Nettie M. Chapman, was seriously injured. She filed suit against Cooper, alleging that he operated the car in a willful and wanton manner which resulted in her injuries. The case was defended on the theory that the defendant Cooper's conduct was not willful and wanton within the meaning of our guest statute. Ark.Stats. §§ 75-913 to 75-915. There was a judgment for Mrs. Chapman in the sum of $7500.00, and Cooper has appealed.

After all the evidence was introduced, Cooper moved for a directed verdict on the ground that the evidence was not sufficient to take the case to the jury on the question of whether his operation of the car amounted to willful and wanton misconduct. His motion was overruled.

There were three passengers in the car in addition to Cooper: Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. Leslie and Mrs. Riley. The evidence shows that Cooper had been drinking to some extent; there is actual proof of only two drinks, but he had a bottle of whiskey with him in the car, and while at the hospital after the accident, an officer smelled alcohol on his breath. Mrs. Leslie, who was sitting in the back seat, testified that she looked at the speedometer and the car was traveling 100 miles an hour. Both she and Mrs. Chapman attempted to get Cooper to reduce the speed, but he continued at the high rate of speed until a moment before the wreck. Mrs. Leslie testified that he went off on the shoulder of the road, and then she said: 'The last thing I remember we were begging him to slow down.' On cross-examination, the witness testified[226 Ark. 333] that Mrs. Chapman complained to Cooper that he was going 100 miles an hour, and begged him to slow down. The witness further testified that both she and Mrs. Chapman repeatedly asked him to slow down, and that she stated to Cooper: 'If you are going to drive that fast I would rather you would stop and let me out.'

Mrs. Chapman testified that she did not actually look at the speedometer, but she knew he was driving awfully fast. She asked him to slow down. 'I told him he was flying too low.' On two different occasions, she asked him to slow down: Mrs. Leslie repeatedly asked him to slow down, and when he did finally slacken his speed it was only to the extent of reducing it about 15 miles an hour.

Cooper made the remark: 'I didn't know I was going a 100.' The car turned over with such terrific force that it knocked Cooper and two of the passengers unconscious; however, although Mrs. Chapman was seriously injured, she was not rendered unconscious. The car turned end over end; it did not collide with anything, Cooper merely lost control by reason of the terrific speed.

Mrs. Riley, another passenger in the car, testified for the defendant, but admitted...

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7 cases
  • Hall v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., s. 86-1449W
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • March 31, 1987
    ...(1964); Cousins v. Cooper, 232 Ark. 605, 339 S.W.2d 316 (1960); Harkrider v. Cox, 230 Ark. 155, 321 S.W.2d 226 (1959); Cooper v. Chapman, 226 Ark. 331, 289 S.W.2d 686 (1956); Scott v. Shairrick, 225 Ark. 59, 279 S.W.2d 39 (1952); McAllister v. Calhoun, 212 Ark. 17, 205 S.W.2d 40...
  • State ex rel. State Highway Commission v. Heim, 9153
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • July 13, 1972
    ...Co., Mo.App., 221 S.W. 1070, 1072(6); Janes v. Levee Dist. No. 2 of Dunklin County, Mo.App., 183 S.W. 697, 700(5). 5 Cooper v. Chapman, 226 Ark. 331, 289 S.W.2d 686, 688(2); 88 C.J.S. Trial § 122, at p. 244; cf. Kwaiser v. Peters, 6 Mich.App. 153, 148 N.W.2d 547, 551(7), aff'd 381 Mich. 73,......
  • Saxon v. Saxon, HT
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 12, 1957
    ...burning rubber and warned the driver-defendant who proceeded at high speed, although asked to stop. In Cooper v. Chapman, Ark.1956, 289 S.W.2d 686, recovery by guest was sustained upon excessive speed after warnings by [231 S.C. 383] passengers, again as here. The statute required wilfulnes......
  • Turner v. Rosewarren, 5--4883
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Arkansas
    • May 5, 1969 here stated that we do not consider that any are authority for affirmance of the present judgment. The first is Cooper v. Chapman, 226 Ark. 331, 289 S.W.2d 686. There, the evidence showed that Cooper was driving 100 miles per hour, and Cooper admitted that one of his passengers, Mrs. Cha......
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