Herring v. Coose, 3619
|27 November 1967
|434 P.2d 351
|Susan HERRING, a minor, by her next friend, Paul Herring, and Paul Herring, Appellants (Plaintiffs below), v. Judith G. COOSE, Appellee (Defendant below).
|Wyoming Supreme Court
Carl L. Lathrop and David D. Uchner, Lathrop, Lathrop & Uchner, Cheyenne, for appellants.
Alfred M. Pence, of Pence & Millett, Laramie, for appellee.
Before HARNSBERGER, C. J., and GRAY, McINTYRE and PARKER, JJ.
Action was brought by Paul Herring and his wife, Susan, to recover damages for injuries received by Mrs. Herring as a passenger senger in an autmobile operated by Judith G. Coose. Based upon the pleadings and depositions of the parties and Richard Coose, husband of defendant, motions for summary judgment were filed, first by defendant, then by plaintiffs. The latter's motion was denied and defendant's granted, summary judgment being entered in her favor. Plaintiffs have appealed, arguing that Mrs. Herring was in fact a paying passenger within the meaning of § 31-233, W.C.1957, and that therefore the decision of the district court should be reversed and a trial had on the question of defendant's negligence.
The accident occurred on Thursday, October 7, 1965, at about 4:30 p. m., north of Rock Springs, Wyoming. Susan Herring, who could not drive, and Judith Coose, accompanied by the two Coose children, were en route from Encampment to Big Piney where they were to visit with Mrs. Herring's brother-in-law and family, who were also friends of the Cooses. A day or two earlier Paul Herring and Richard Coose had left Encampment and were at the time of the accident sheep hunting in the Dubois area. The men had used a truck, owned by Herring's parents (horses and hay to feed them were also taken from his parents' ranch and transported in the truck, as well as the usual camping gear). Before the men had left they agreed Herring would pay the expenses on the truck but each would pay half their 'grub' bill. According to Mrs. Coose, just before her husband left 'he just tole me if I took care of my expenses on our car (a 1965 Volkswagen station wagon) then Paul would take care of the gas and expenses on his vehicle-the truck.' The men were to call their wives at Big Piney on Sunday, October 9, and at that time they were to decide how they would proceed back to their homes in Encampment. All agreed that the trips had no purpose other than social.
Appellants' position in the appeal before us is that as a matter of law Mrs. Herring was a paying passenger in the Coose vehicle, was not a guest within the meaning of the Wyoming law, and was entitled to recover upon her allegations of ordinary negligence. Appellee's philosophy is that under the circumstances here present, 'there must be a motivation of gain on the part of the driver to take the case out of the guest category, and that there must be a business aspect of a nature resulting in benefit, or the paying passenger status does not mature.' Both parties cite many authorities in support of their positions; however, it would accomplish little to analyze these in view of the situation...
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Nehring v. Russell
...the friendship of the parties or whether the motivating factor of the invitation to ride was the expectation of benefit." Herring v. Coose, Wyo.1967, 434 P.2d 351, 352. Where the inferences to be drawn from the evidence presented are conflicting, the determination is one which should be lef......