Edgerton v. Lawry

Decision Date20 April 1990
Docket NumberNo. 88-941,88-941
PartiesDeloris EDGERTON, Appellant, v. Mary K. LAWRY, Appellee.
CourtNebraska Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. Motor Vehicles: Negligence. Negligence generally arises as a matter of law if one operates a motor vehicle on a public street or highway and, on account of the manner of operation, is unable to stop her or his vehicle or turn it aside without colliding with an object or obstruction on the street or highway within the operator's range of vision.

2. Motor Vehicles: Negligence. An exception to or exoneration from the range of vision rule exists when a motorist, otherwise exercising reasonable care, does not see an object or obstruction sufficiently in advance to avoid colliding with it because it is similar in color to the road surface and is thus relatively indiscernible.

3. Motor Vehicles: Negligence. If the presence of ice or snow upon the road surface is known or should have reasonably been anticipated, the snow and ice are considered conditions rather than intervening causes and thus do not exonerate a motorist from the application of the range of vision rule.

David L. Welch of McCormack, Cooney, Mooney, Hillman & Elder, Omaha, for appellant.

Lawrence E. Barrett of Sodoro, Daly & Sodoro, Omaha, for appellee.



The district court affirmed the county court's dismissal of plaintiff-appellant Deloris Edgerton's petition, which alleges that she sustained damage as the proximate result of defendant-appellee Mary K. Lawry's negligent driving. In support of this appeal, Edgerton asserts, in substance, that the district court erred in failing to rule that the county court erred on the record by failing to find that Lawry was negligent as a matter of law and failing to enter judgment in Edgerton's favor. We affirm.

The record is such that as the trier of fact, the county court could have found that between 7:30 and 8 o'clock on the morning of November 30, 1987, each of the parties was driving an automobile at between 20 and 25 miles per hour in an easterly direction on Gomez Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska. Although there had been a thaw and refreezing during the night and early morning hours, neither party had encountered any ice until approaching a point near the intersection of Gomez Avenue and 33d Street, an intersection at which eastbound traffic was controlled by a stop sign.

When Edgerton was 30 to 35 feet from the sign, she applied the brakes on her automobile in order to stop in response to the sign. As she did so, her automobile slid to the left into the curb of Gomez Avenue, making a quarter turn and coming to rest with its front wheel against the curb. Edgerton did not see the patch of ice on which her automobile slid until after the Lawry automobile struck the left rear door of the Edgerton vehicle.

Lawry had been traveling about a block behind Edgerton, but when Edgerton lost control of her automobile, Lawry was only two or three car lengths...

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6 cases
  • Nickell v. Russell
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • January 6, 1995
    ...in the motorist's path within his or her range of vision. See, Horst v. Johnson, 237 Neb. 155, 465 N.W.2d 461 (1991); Edgerton v. Lawry, 235 Neb. 100, 453 N.W.2d 743 (1990); Roth v. Blomquist, 117 Neb. 444, 220 N.W. 572 (1928). When the facts of a case fall within the exception to the range......
  • Kissinger v. United Parcel Service Co.
    • United States
    • Nebraska Court of Appeals
    • April 13, 1999
    ...thus do not exonerate a motorist from the application of the range of vision rule. Id. at 556, 446 N.W.2d at 725. In Edgerton v. Lawry, 235 Neb. 100, 453 N.W.2d 743 (1990), the Nebraska Supreme Court found that the range of vision rule did not require a finding of the defendant's negligence......
  • German v. Swanson, S-94-521
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • July 26, 1996
    ...or object is not discernible, precluding the motorist from seeing the person or object in time to stop. See, id.; Edgerton v. Lawry, 235 Neb. 100, 453 N.W.2d 743 (1990). Reasonable minds could have properly concluded from the evidence that Steimer's vehicle obstructed Swanson's view, result......
  • Martin v. Roth
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • August 8, 1997
    ...verdict should therefore have been entered. One year after Burkey, we examined a similar factual situation in Edgerton v. Lawry, 235 Neb. 100, 453 N.W.2d 743 (1990). The record in that case showed that the defendant's vehicle slid on a patch of ice into the rear end of the plaintiff's stopp......
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