Geer v. Gellerman

Decision Date02 November 1931
Docket Number23206.
Citation165 Wash. 10,4 P.2d 641
CourtWashington Supreme Court
PartiesGEER et ux. v. GELLERMAN et ux.

Department 2.

Appeal from Superior Court, Pierce County; E. D. Hodge, Judge.

Action by Joseph L. Geer and wife against W. H. Gellerman and wife. From the judgment, plaintiffs appeal.

Reversed and remanded, with directions.

Vanderveer Beardslee & Bassett, of Seattle, and E. D. Germain, of Longview, for appellants.

Ellis &amp Evans, of Tacoma, and Whittemore & Truscott, of Seattle, for respondents.


Appellants sued to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by appellant, the wife, in an automobile collision which occurred at the junction of the Pacific Highway with the Bucoda Highway within the corporate limits of Tenino on Labor Day, September 2, 1929. Motions for nonsuit were interposed at the close of appellants' case and at the close of the entire case, which were both denied by the trial court, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of appellants for $2,500. Thereafter respondents moved for a new trial and for a judgment non obstante veredicto, but at the hearing thereof expressly waived the motion for a new trial, and relied on the motion for judgment n. o. v. The court granted judgment n. o. v. in favor of respondents, and this appeal results.

The facts which the jury were warranted in resolving in favor of appellants are substantially these:

On the day of the accident, appellants, followed by two friends in another car whom they had accidentally encountered on the Pacific Highway, were driving from Tacoma to Portland, and to avoid the congestion of traffic on Labor Day on the highway, it had been agreed that they would proceed from Tenino to Centralia by way of the Bucoda Highway. Appellant the husband, was driving and the wife and baby were were in the rear seat of their Ford car. Approaching the Bucoda Highway from the north, the husband saw the car of respondents approaching from the south at a distance of three hundred fifty feet. As he neared the turn into the Bucoda Highway, he looked again and saw the car about two hundred fifty feet distant. Inasmuch as the car of respondents approached appellants more or less directly, appellant, the husband, was unable to determine its speed, but thought he had ample time to turn into the Bucoda Highway in safety, and would have done so had the car of respondents been operated at a lawful speed. There was evidence by two impartial witnesses, who estimated the speed of respondents' car at fifty to sixty miles an hour. The speed of appellants' car was slow as he approached the turn, being, perhaps, twenty miles an hour, and, on the turn, eight or ten miles an hour. Respondents' car ran head-on squarely into the right side of appellants' car back of the front wheel, forced it entirely across the road, and practically demolished it. The husband was thrown out of the car, and the wife was rendered unconscious. There is a railroad viaduct or trestle over the Pacific Highway just Before the junction with the Bucoda Highway is reached. There is positive evidence by two eyewitnesses that the driver of the car of appellants began to make a signal for a left-hand turn by holding out his hand while still under the trestle; that his hand had been out Before the witnesses saw it, as they did not see the hand put out as a signal for the turn, but saw that it was being held out, and that just as the turn was started the driver of appellants' car put both hands on the steering wheel to make the turn, which was just Before the cars ran together. Appellant, the husband, also testified that he started to make the signal for a left-hand turn when he was between fifty and sixty feet from the turn of the Bucoda road; that he signaled for the left turn, slowed down nearly to a stop, and started to make the turn; that in making the turn into the Bucoda road he judged he was going eight to ten miles an hour; when he was about three-fourths across the highway he was hit.

Respondents' Packard car was driven by their twenty-year old son. He testified that the speed of appellants' car at the turn was about fifteen or twenty miles per hour; that it did not stop, but that he thought it was going to stop because it was going very slow and the right wheels of the car of appellants were off the pavement. Appellant, the husband, had testified that in making the turn he thought probably one of his right wheels was momentarily off the pavement a couple of feet.

The trial court granted the judgment n. o. v. on the grounds that the testimony showed that a...

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4 cases
  • Cook v. Seidenverg
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1950
    ... ... requirements, to provide such heat ... The violation of a ... city ordinance is negligence per se. Geer v ... Gellerman, 165 Wash. 10, 4 P.2d 641; Schatter v ... Bergen, 185 Wash. 375, 55 P.2d 344; Gardner v ... Seymour, 27 Wash.2d ... ...
  • Hart v. Clapp
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • March 4, 1936
    ...253 P. 657; Jurisch v. Puget Transportation Co., 144 Wash. 409, 258 P. 39; Byrne v. Stanford, 159 Wash. 271, 292 P. 1014; Geer v. Gellerman, 165 Wash. 10, 4 P.2d 641; Bredemeyer v. Johnson, 179 Wash. 225, 36 P.2d The respondents contend, however, that the error in giving the above instructi......
  • Senske v. Washington Gas & Elec. Co.
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • November 2, 1931
  • Seattle Taxicab Co. v. Texas Co.
    • United States
    • Washington Supreme Court
    • May 25, 1936
    ... ... Hullin v. Seattle Taxicab Co., 119 Wash. 311, 205 P ... 403; Twedt v. Seattle Taxicab Co., 121 Wash. 562, ... 210 P. 20; Geer v. Gellerman, 165 Wash. 10, 4 P.2d ... 641 ... As we ... understand appellants' position on this branch of the ... ...

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