Golceff v. Sugarman

Decision Date13 October 1950
Citation36 Cal.2d 152,222 P.2d 665
CourtCalifornia Supreme Court
PartiesGOLCEFF v. SUGARMAN. S. F. 18185.

Hallinan, MacInnis & Zamloch and Nicholas Alaga, all of San Francisco, for appellant.

Alexander, Bacon & Mundhenk and Herbert Chamberlin, all of San Francisco, for respondent.

SCHAUER, Justice.

In this action to recover damages for personal injuries the court, at the close of plaintiff's case, granted defendant's motion for a monsuit, and plaintiff appeals from the subsequently entered judgment. Upon consideration of the entire record, and of the authorities governing courts in passing on such motions, we are of the view that plaintiff's evidence was sufficient to require submission of the case to the jury, and that the judgment should be reversed.

A trial court must deny a motion for a nonsuit at the close of plaintiff's case 'if there is * * * any substantial evidence, which, with the aid of all legitimate inferences favorable to the plaintiff, tends to establish the avernments of the complaint, or, in other words, where the plaintiff's evidence is sufficient to support a judgment on the verdict. It should deny a nonsuit even where there is a conflict in the evidence and some evidence tends to sustain the plaintiff's case, or when the evidence of the plaintiff is such that different conclusions can reasonably be drawn therefrom. If there is any doubt, it is the duty of the court to let the case go to the jury.' (9 Cal.Jur. 558-559.) And as to our duty, 'The uniform rule which an appellate court should follow in disposing of an appeal from a judgment of nonsuit is, that the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to appellant, must disregard all inconsistencies and draw only those inferences from the evidence which can reasonably be drawn which are favorable to appellant. (Citations.)' (Kirk v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp. (1945), 26 Cal.2d 833, 837-838, 161 P.2d 673, 164 A.L.R. 1; see also Milana v. Credit Discount Co. (1945), 27 Cal.2d 335, 342-343, 163 P.2d 869, 165 A.L.R. 621; Mastrangelo v. West Side Union High School Dist. (1935), 2 Cal.2d 540, 544-545, 42 P.2d 634.)

Plaintiff, a general repair man of the age of 42, was the only witness concerning the happening of the accident here involved. He testified as follows: He entered defendant's store and there showed to an employe of defendant a cloth pattern of a tank cover plaintiff wished to purchased. The employe requested plaintiff to hold a ladder while the employe climbed it to a balcony. The balcony was at a height which plaintiff, who is 'five feet ten or eleven' inches tall, could reach by putting his 'hand in the air,' and the ladder was 'not a stepladder,' but just a 'plain ladder * * * two sticks and then sticks cross together,' which was leaning against and extending 'about two feet above' the balcony. Plaintiff held the ladder, and the employe 'Went on the balcony' and then stated to plaintiff, 'here are the tank covers * * * come on up here.' With the employe holding the ladder at the top plaintiff climbed 'two or three steps' up the ladder to a point where his head was 'Over the balcony'; at that point plaintiff handed the pattern to the employe, the employe left the ladder, the ladder began to slip, and plaintiff 'awakened' in the hospital.

The epitomized evidence is sufficient to require the case to go to the jury. Certainly a business 'invitor's responsibility is not absolute but he is 'required to use ordinary care for the safety of the persons he invites to come upon the premises * * *. " (Hinds v. Wheadon (1942), 19 Cal.2d 458, 460, 121 P.2d 724; see also Blodgett v. B. H. Dyas Co. (1935), 4 Cal.2d 511, 512, 50 P.2d 801; ...

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  • Castaneda v. Olsher
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • July 30, 2007
    ...Rptr.2d 97, 863 P.2d 167.) "`If there is any doubt, it is the duty of the court to let the case go to the jury.'" (Golceff v. Sugarman (1950) 36 Cal.2d 152, 153, 222 P.2d 665.) Here, plaintiffs evidence is sufficient to warrant submission to the jury. As mentioned on pages 114-115, 162 P.3d......
  • CRST, Inc. v. Superior Court of L. A. Cnty.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • May 26, 2017
    ...his servant committed the act, or, without noticing the servant, by alleging that defendant committed the act.’ " (Golceff v. Sugarman (1950) 36 Cal.2d 152, 154, 222 P.2d 665, quoting 57 C.J.S. 386.)8 Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated section 13–21–102(1)(a) provides: "In all civil action......
  • Toney v. State of California
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • January 23, 1976
    ...be sued and held liable without naming the agents whose conduct the vicarious liability is predicated upon (see Golceff v. Sugarman (1950) 36 Cal.2d 152, 154, 222 P.2d 665; Mascarin Professional Pharmacy v. Hart (1970) 13 Cal.App.3d 462, 466, 91 Cal.Rptr. 560); and whenever several persons ......
  • Alvarez v. Jacmar Pacific Pizza Corp.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • August 6, 2002
    ...can be reached from the evidence. If there is any doubt, the decision belongs to the jury, not to the court. (Golceff v. Sugarman (1950) 36 Cal.2d 152, 153, 222 P.2d 665.) That standard informs appellate review. On appeal from a nonsuit judgment, we consider the evidence in the light most f......
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