Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 36513.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Kansas
Writing for the CourtWEDELL, Justice.
Citation161 Kan. 268,167 P.2d 299
Decision Date06 April 1946
Docket Number36513.
PartiesLORD v. HERCULES POWDER CO. et al.

167 P.2d 299

161 Kan. 268

LORD
v.
HERCULES POWDER CO. et al.

No. 36513.

Supreme Court of Kansas

April 6, 1946


Appeal from District Court, Douglas County; Hugh Means, Judge.

Personal injury action by Edward D. Lord against the Hercules Powder Company and another. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiff, but the court set aside the verdict and rendered judgment for defendants and plaintiff appeals.

Cause remanded with directions.

Syllabus by the Court.

1. A general verdict is one by wich a jury pronounces generally on all issues of fact submitted to it for determination. (G.S. 1935, 60-2918.)

2. A general verdict in favor of a party imports a finding in his favor upon all issues in the case which are not inconsistent with the special findings.

3. A general verdict and special findings should always be harmonized, if possible, and every reasonable presumption should be indulged in favor of the general verdict. Nothing will be presumed in favor of the special findings.

4. For the purpose of obtaining a ruling on a motion non obstance veredicto it is admitted the special findings are supported by evidence. [167 P.2d 300]

5. In order for a verdict to stand it must have not only the approval of the jury but also the independent approval of the trial court. Unless the court can give a verdict [161 Kan. 269] its independent approval it has not only the right, but the duty, to set it aside and to grant a new trial.

6. Where a trial court is dissatisfied with a general verdict and probably with some of the special findings, the correctness of which is not challenged, it may not upon its independent consideration of the whole record, including the weighing of evidence, substitute its judgment for that of the jury, set aside the general verdict and the special findings, and render a judgment in favor of the other party. Under such circumstances the extent of its power is to grant a new trial.

Henry H. Asher and Clarence M. Gorrill, both of Lawrence, for appellant.

John J. Riling, of Lawrence (Edw. T. Riling and R. B. Stevens, both of Lawrence, on the brief), for appellees.

WEDELL, Justice.

This is an appeal by the plaintiff from a judgment in an action to recover damages for personal injuries sustained in an automobile collision.

The jury rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The court set aside the verdict and rendered judgment for defendants. This, plaintiff contends, constituted error.

The action was against The Hercules Powder Company and Bernice Everts, the driver of the car in which plaintiff was riding when it collided with another car driven by Winfred A. Turner. The latter is not a party to the action. Defendant, The Hercules Powder Company, manufactures gunpowder for the United States government at the government's Sunflower Ordnance Works located in Johnson county. It appears the plaintiff was employed by the United States government as its chief safety engineer in charge of all activities for the United States ordnance department having to do with the avoidance and prevention of accidental injuries to persons and property on the tract of land and area occupied by the Sunflower Ordnance Works. A fleet of automobiles was operated to facilitate the business of The Hercules Powder Company and the Sunflower Ordance Works. On the night of October 8, 1943, an explosion occurred at the plant which required the immediate attention of plaintiff, who resided at Lawrence. The defendant driver, Bernice Everts, was directed to go to Lawrence [161 Kan. 270] and transport plaintiff to the plant. Some disagreement arose among those in charge of the fleet of cars and drivers relative to whether the driver should be directed to ignore speed laws and safety regulations. It appears Major Arthur E. Inman, in charge of the ordnance works and plaintiff's superior, was consulted and he directed that plaintiff be brought to the plant as speedily as possible. The ordnance plant is located to the south of U.S. highway 10. Sunflower Village is situated north of the highway. The collision occurred on highway 10 between the car in which plaintiff was riding, while traveling east, and the Turner car, which came into highway 10 from the north out of Sunflower Village. The latter car turned west on highway 10 and the collision occurred a short distance west of the point at which the Turner car entered the highway.

The foregoing sketchy statement, of course, is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts but only a general outline of circumstances surrounding the action. As we view the question presented on appeal a more definite and detailed statement of the facts is not necessary.

Plaintiff's action was predicated upon the negligence of the defendant, The Hercules Powder Company, and the defendant driver, Bernice Everts, who had been directed by plaintiff's superior to deliver the plaintiff to the plant. Defendants denied such alleged negligence and contended the proximate cause of the collision was the negligence of Turner and that if defendants were guilty of negligence, the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence in failing to object to the manner in which the car in which he was riding was operated. The defendant, The Hercules Powder Company, also denied that the defendant, Bernice Everts, or the plaintiff, were its agent, servant [167 P.2d 301] or employee. It alleged they were the agents and employees of the Sunflower Ordnance Works, an agency of the government. Plaintiff's reply denied all allegations of the answer contrary to or at variance with the...

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17 practice notes
  • Ogilvie v. Mangels, No. 41045
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • December 6, 1958
    ...Kan., 331 P.2d 284, where Mr. Justice Wertz, speaking for the court, discussed a similar question, and Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299, 300, in which the opinion of the court was written by Mr. Justice Wedell, the sixth paragraph of the syllabus reads as 'Where a tri......
  • Security Insurance Co. of New Haven v. Johnson, No. 6166.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 24, 1960
    ...would bar the plaintiff. The Kansas decisions cited fall within one or the other of the foregoing categories. Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299; Phillips v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 157 Kan. 581, 142 P.2d 704; Grigsby v. Jenkins, 183 Kan. 594, 331 P.2d 27......
  • Natanson v. Kline, No. 41476
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • April 9, 1960
    ...are, and must be, in favor of the verdict. All issues of fact have been resolved in favor of the defendants. Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299; and Beye v. Andres, 179 Kan. 502, 296 P.2d The appellant contends, however, the uncontradicted evidence shows the defendants ......
  • Metzinger v. Subera, No. 39060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • January 23, 1954
    ...number of decisions in support thereof, among them being Underhill v. Motes, 160 Kan. 679, 165 P.2d 218, and Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299. However, in the Underhill case it appears the trial court was dissatisfied with the general verdict and some of the special f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Ogilvie v. Mangels, No. 41045
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • December 6, 1958
    ...Kan., 331 P.2d 284, where Mr. Justice Wertz, speaking for the court, discussed a similar question, and Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299, 300, in which the opinion of the court was written by Mr. Justice Wedell, the sixth paragraph of the syllabus reads as 'Where a tri......
  • Security Insurance Co. of New Haven v. Johnson, No. 6166.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 24, 1960
    ...would bar the plaintiff. The Kansas decisions cited fall within one or the other of the foregoing categories. Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299; Phillips v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., 157 Kan. 581, 142 P.2d 704; Grigsby v. Jenkins, 183 Kan. 594, 331 P.2d 276 F.......
  • Natanson v. Kline, No. 41476
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • April 9, 1960
    ...are, and must be, in favor of the verdict. All issues of fact have been resolved in favor of the defendants. Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299; and Beye v. Andres, 179 Kan. 502, 296 P.2d The appellant contends, however, the uncontradicted evidence shows the defendants ......
  • Metzinger v. Subera, No. 39060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Kansas
    • January 23, 1954
    ...number of decisions in support thereof, among them being Underhill v. Motes, 160 Kan. 679, 165 P.2d 218, and Lord v. Hercules Powder Co., 161 Kan. 268, 167 P.2d 299. However, in the Underhill case it appears the trial court was dissatisfied with the general verdict and some of the special f......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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