Cotton v. Ship-By-Truck Co.

Decision Date10 July 1935
Citation85 S.W.2d 80,337 Mo. 270
PartiesEugene F. Cotton, Appellant, v. Ship-By-Truck Company and Edward Hartz
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

Rehearing Denied July 10, 1935.

Appeal from Jackson Circuit Court; Hon. Ben Terte, Judge.

Affirmed (upon condition).

Wright & Rogers, William T. Ragland, Harry C. Clark and Robert T Sloan for appellant.

(1) Ship-By-Truck Company failed to demur at close of case by not offering a written demurrer or requesting a written peremptory instruction. Sec. 967, R. S. 1929; Sutton v Kansas City Star Co., 54 S.W.2d 458; Thompson v. Main Street Bank, 226 Mo.App. 246, 42 S.W.2d 58; Lintz v. Atlanta Life Ins. Co., 226 Mo.App. 1087, 49 S.W.2d 677; Gee v. Sherman, 221 Mo.App. 121, 293 S.W. 789. The evidence of Hartz' employment by respondent, Ship-By-Truck Company, was sufficient to make a jury case. (a) Hartz' declarations, admitted without objection, proved his employment. Roberts v. Schaper Stores Co., 318 Mo. 1190, 3 S.W.2d 244; Meyer v. Christopher, 176 Mo. 580, 75 S.W. 755; Clark v. Crandall, 319 Mo. 87, 5 S.W.2d 386; Zimmerman v. Schwerzler, 35 S.W.2d 381; Peck v. Ritchey, 66 Mo. 119; Barz v. Fleischmann Yeast Co., 308 Mo. 288, 271 S.W. 364; State v. Daues, 323 Mo. 388, 19 S.W.2d 707. (b) The name Ship-By-Truck Company on the truck was evidence of Hartz' employment. Fleishmann v. Polar Wave Ice & Fuel Co., 127 S.W. 663; Karguth v. Donk Brothers Coal & Coke Co., 299 Mo. 580, 253 S.W. 367; Gorman v. Jackson Kansas City Show Case Works Co., 19 S.W.2d 559; Renfro v. Central Coal & Coke Co., 223 Mo.App. 1219, 19 S.W.2d 766; Margulis v. Natl. Enameling & Stamping Co., 23 S.W.2d 1051; LaJoie v. Rossi, 37 S.W.2d 687. (c) The established course of dealing and arrangements between Hartz and Ship-By-Truck Company proved his employment. (d) The records and books of respondent, Ship-By-Truck Company, proved Hartz was its employee. (e) Respondent Hartz was within the scope of his employment when the collision occurred. Jedlicka v. Shackelford, 270 S.W. 128; Phillips v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 194 Mo.App. 458, 184 S.W. 958; Slothower v. Clark, 191 Mo.App. 105, 179 S.W. 55; Fidelity & Casualty Co. v. K. C. Rys. Co., 207 Mo.App. 137, 231 S.W. 278. (f) Strong and exact precedents sustain plaintiff's case against Ship-By-Truck Company, as for the jury. Karguth v. Donk Bros. Coal & Coke Co., 229 Mo. 580, 253 S.W. 367; Gorman v. Jackson Kansas City Show Case Works Co., 19 S.W.2d 559; Renfro v. Central Coal & Coke Co., 223 Mo.App. 1219, 19 S.W.2d 766. (2) The finding omitted from Instruction 9 was essential. Phillips v. Meyer Sanitary Milk Co., 129 Kan. 45; Barshfield v. Vucklich, 108 Kan. 761; Morris v. Ry. Co., 118 Kan. 433; Cross v. Rosencranz, 108 Kan. 350; Corn v. Ry. Co., 228 S.W. 78; Disano v. Hall, 14 S.W.2d 483. (a) The evidence did not support requested Instruction 9. Stines v. Dillman, 4 S.W.2d 478; Phillips v. Travelers Ins Co., 288 Mo. 175, 231 S.W. 949; George v. Railroad Co., 213 Mo.App. 668, 251 S.W. 732. (b) Respondent cannot complain of the refusal of Instruction 9 since it was inconsistent with Instructions 5 and 10 given at his instance. St. L., K. & W. Ry. Co. v. Knapp-Stout & Co., 160 Mo. 411; Tetherow v. Ry. Co., 98 Mo. 74; K. C. S. Ry. Co. v. Second Street Imp. Co., 256 Mo. 386, 166 S.W. 301; Green v. Wright, 36 Mo.App. 303; 38 Cyc. 1711; Randall's Instructions to Juries, p. 879, sec. 494.

Cowgill & Popham and John F. Cook for Edward Hartz.

Mosman, Rogers & Buzard for Ship-By-Truck Company.

(1) The trial court erred in refusing to sustain each of the written demurrers of the defendants offered, filed and passed upon at the close of plaintiff's evidence and also each of the written demurrers offered and refiled and passed upon at the close of all the evidence. (a) Plaintiff was guilty of negligence as a matter of law. Ferguson v. Lang, 268 P. 117; Fisher v. O'Brien, 99 Kan. 621, 162 P. 317; Giles v. Ternes, 143 P. 491; Haines v. Carroll, 126 Kan. 409, 267 P. 986; Lauson v. Fond du Lac, 141 Wis. 57; Ebling v. Nielson, 109 Wash. 355, 186 P. 887; Jones v. Ry. Co., 129 Kan. 314, 282 P. 593; Tuer v. Wayland, 129 Kan. 458, 283 P. 661; O'Connell v. Lusk, 122 Kan. 189, 250 P. 1059; Howard v. Zimmerman, 120 Kan. 77, 242 P. 131; Roades v. Ry. Co., 121 Kan. 324, 246 P. 994; Bush v. Railroad Co., 62 Kan. 709, 64 P. 624; Gilbert v. K. C. Rys. Co., 109 Kan. 107, 197 P. 872; Knight v. Ry. Co., 111 Kan. 308, 206 P. 893; Kirby v. Ry. Co., 106 Kan. 163, 186 P. 744; Gaffney v. Ry. Co., 107 Kan. 486, 192 P. 736. (b) Plaintiff is in law held to have seen that which he could have seen. Phillips v. Henson, 30 S.W.2d 1068; Sullivan v. Union Elec. L. & P. Co., 56 S.W.2d 100; Fitzgerald v. Norman, 252 S.W. 43; Quinn v. Berberich, 51 S.W.2d 153; Sloan v. American Press, 37 S.W.2d 884; Burge v. Ry. Co., 148 S.W. 929; Mowerer v. Osage Township, 135 Kan. 278, 10 P.2d 906; Woods v. Moore, 48 S.W.2d 207; Spoeneman v. Uhri, 60 S.W.2d 13; Chawkley v. Wabash, 317 Mo. 782, 297 S.W. 24; Ziegelmeier v. Ry. Co., 51 S.W.2d 1030. (c) Kansas cases distinguished from case at bar. McCoy v. Pittsburg Boiler & Mach. Co., 124 Kan. 414, 261 P. 30; Barzer v. Kepler, 125 Kan. 648, 266 P. 69; Hayden v. Cooper Trans. Co., 134 Kan. 172, 5 P.2d 837; Conwill v. Fairmount Creamery Co., 136 Kan. 861, 18 P.2d 193; Womochil v. List & Clark Const. Co., 135 Kan. 695, 11 P.2d 731; Witte v. Hutchins, 135 Kan. 776, 12 P.2d 724; Williams v. Kan. State Highway Comm., 134 Kan. 810, 8 P.2d 946; Deardorf v. Schell Pet. Co., 136 Kan. 95, 12 P.2d 1103; Mowrer v. Osage Twp., 135 Kan. 278, 10 P.2d 906. (2) The trial court erred in refusing to give defendants' requested Instruction 6. Balle v. Smith, 17 P.2d 233; City of Pampa v. Todd, 39 S.W.2d 636; Lorance v. Smith, 138 So. 876; Robinson v. Ross, 47 S.W.2d 125; Berthold v. Danz, 27 S.W.2d 451; Smith v. Wells, 31 S.W.2d 1022; Morton v. Railroad Co., 20 S.W.2d 44. (3) The trial court erred in refusing Instruction 9 offered by the defendants. Sharp v. Sproat, 111 Kan. 735; Bush v. Railroad Co., 62 Kan. 709; Anthony v. Kiefner, 96 Kan. 194, 150 P. 524; Kirby v. Ry. Co., 106 Kan. 163, 186 P. 744; Knight v. Railroad Co., 111 Kan. 308, 206 P. 893; Kestler v. Davis, 111 Kan. 515; Atwood v. Railroad Co., 44 Utah 366; Hardy v. Barrett, 257 Pa. St. 42; Barr v. Railroad Co., 37 S.W.2d 927; Carr v. St. Joseph, 225 S.W. 922; Ziegelmeier v. Ry. Co., 51 S.W.2d 1030. (4) The court erred in giving plaintiff's Instruction A, which covered the entire case and directed a verdict. (a) The instruction is erroneous because it is too long, involved and confusing -- one part requires a finding of specific negligence and the other part permits recovery for general negligence. Ballman v. Lueking Teaming Co., 218 Mo. 355, 219 S.W. 603; Burgher v. Niedorp, 50 S.W.2d 175; Allison v. Dittbrenner, 50 S.W.2d 202; McDonald v. Taxicab Co., 168 Mo.App. 356, 151 S.W. 767; Owens v. McCleary, 313 Mo. 213, 281 S.W. 682; Allen v. Railroad Co., 294 S.W. 87; Landon v. United Rys. Co., 237 S.W. 497. The Instruction A is erroneous because it required the defendant to station a guard or post, or give a warning, thereby setting up his own standard and injecting a foreign issue into the case. The instruction made the defendant Hartz the insurer of the continued lighted condition of the rear light and did not require the jury to find that he knew or should have known that the lamp was not burning. It ignored defendant's evidence that the light was burning within five minutes before the collision. McDermott v. McKeown Transport Co., 263 Ill.App. 325. (5) The plaintiff failed to establish the relationship of master and servant between the defendant Hartz and the defendant, Ship-By-Truck Company. (a) The alleged admissions of Hartz were not sufficient to establish the fact that he was the servant of the defendant, Ship-By-Truck Company. Pitts v. Weakley, 155 Mo. 109, 55 S.W. 1063; Kurz v. Greenlease, 52 S.W.2d 499; State ex rel. Kurz v. Greenlease, 64 S.W.2d 638; Rector v. Mulford, 185 S.W. 255. Plaintiff's positive testimony destroyed any alleged inference or presumption. Lechner v. Peters, 46 S.W.2d 536; Givens v. Spalding Cloak Co., 63 S.W.2d 827; Staley v. Lawler, 27 S.W.2d 1044; Renfro v. Central Coal & Coke Co., 19 S.W.2d 766; La Joie v. Rossi, 37 S.W.2d 684; Guthrie v. Holmes, 272 Mo. 215, 198 S.W. 854; McCaughen v. Railroad Co., 274 S.W. 97; Vallery v. Hesse Building Material Co., 211 S.W. 95; Daily v. Maxwell, 152 Mo.App. 426, 133 S.W. 351; Hurch v. Railroad Co., 252 Mo. 48, 158 S.W. 584; Griffey v. Koehler, 50 S.W.2d 693; Acker v. Koppman, 50 S.W.2d 100. The defendant Hartz was an independent contractor. Coul v. Peck Dry Goods Co., 326 Mo. 870, 32 S.W.2d 758; Carman v. Central Western Dairy Co., 58 S.W.2d 781; Jones v. Central Coal Co., 46 S.W.2d 196; Crescent Baking Co. v. Denton, 112 So. 21; American Savs. Life Ins. Co. v. Riplinger, 249 Ky. 8, 60 S.W.2d 115; Mound City Paint & Color Co. v. Conlon, 92 Mo. 229, 4 S.W.2d 925; Horn v. Rhodes, 317 Mo. 572, 296 S.W. 389; Lechner v. Peters, 46 S.W.2d 527. Under the laws of Kansas, Hartz was an independent contractor. McCraner v. Nunn, 129 Kan. 802, 284 P. 603; Dohner v. Grocery Co., 116 Kan. 237, 226 P. 767.

OPINION

Gantt, J.

This came to me on reassignment. Action for personal injuries caused by the collision of an automobile, in which plaintiff was riding, with the rear of a truck parked on a highway between Ottawa and Lawrence, Kansas. Judgment for $ 30,000. On motion of defendants the court granted a new trial. Plaintiff appealed.

In substance the petition alleged that the Ship-By-Truck Company was a corporation organized under the laws of this State and that defendants, in violation of the law of Kansas negligently parked the truck without a red tail light or any light visible to occupants of...

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