Maynard v. Hall, Civil 4592

Decision Date06 December 1943
Docket NumberCivil 4592
Citation143 P.2d 884,61 Ariz. 32
PartiesWANDA DALORES MAYNARD, by her guardian ad litem, Wm. Maynard, Appellant, v. S. H. Hall, Appellee
CourtArizona Supreme Court

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of the County of Maricopa. Arthur T. La Prade, Judge. Judgment reversed and cause remanded for new trial.

Mr Mark Wilmer, for Appellant.

Mr Albert W. Gurtler, and Messrs. Laney & Laney, for Appellee.



This is an appeal from the Superior Court of Maricopa County. It arises out of an accident which occurred on the morning of the 16th day of January, 1942, while the plaintiff, a girl of the age of approximately ten years, was waiting with several other girls by the roadside at a point about five miles south of Gilbert, Arizona, for a school bus. A cement highway was running north and south at that point and was intersected by a dirt road running at right angles.

A man named Bud Pearson was driving his automobile in a northerly direction along the paved highway at a high rate of speed. As he reached the children at the road crossing he drove off the paved portion of the highway he was traveling and struck the plaintiff, carrying her about 45 feet, his car continuing on 192 feet. By reason of it the child's leg was mangled requiring that the same thereafter be amputated, and she was otherwise injured.

The case was heard before a jury. At the close of the evidence by the appellant herein, who was the plaintiff below, the appellee moved the court for an instructed verdict in favor of the appellee on the grounds:

"That the plaintiff has failed to make out a case of liability on the part of this defendant Hall for the reason that the plaintiff has not shown any such relation of master and servant between S. H. Hall and Bud Pearson as would render S H. Hall liable; and the further ground that the plaintiff has even failed to show negligence on the part of Bud Pearson."

The trial court, on granting the motion, made the following statement:

"Counsel forthe defendant here has made a motion directed to the Court, asking the Court to enter its order directing the jury to bring in a verdict for the defendant, on the ground that the plaintiff has failed to establish agency on the part of Pearson as the employee of Hall, and engaged at the time of the accident in the course of Hall's business, and on the further ground that no evidence of negligence has been established."

The principal contentions of the appellant are that the court erred in disallowing certain statements of two witnesses who came upon the scene just about the time the accident occurred, and they offered testimony as to the statements of Bud Pearson, the driver of the car and the person who is claimed to be the agent of the appellee herein. This testimony was the declaration of Bud Pearson at the scene of the accident and during the excitement of placing the injured child in a car, and was made within a minute and one-half to three minutes after the accident occurred, and was, as we understand from the evidence, his first expression, and the appellant submitted the same as a part of the res gestae.

Appellant also complains that the court erred in denying his request that certain portions of the deposition of the witness, Bud Pearson, who had left the country, be settled in advance of the reading of the deposition in evidence.

The appellee, among many other things, contends that Pearson was driving his own automobile, and that there was no presumption that at the time of the accident he was acting as a servant of appellee, and within the scope of his employment, and that it was incumbent upon the appellant to establish that fact by legally admissible evidence, and that the appellant failed to do, and accordingly the court, at the close of his case, directed a verdict in favor of appellee Hall.

The statements by each of the witnesses named, and which are in controversy here, are as follows:

Frank Lindsey testified:

"The Witness: I drove up and stopped, and Sanborn, he jumped out of the car and run down the road to get the car number, and I told this other fellow --

"Mr. Laney: I object to that. That is not the question. What Pearson said? A. Well, Pearson says, 'I am on my way to Gilbert after a trailer.' He says, 'I am working for Slay Hall, and I am going after a trailer now.'

"Mr. Wilmer: Q. Was there anything that was said to him that caused him to say that?

"Mr. Laney: Now, may the objection that this is hearsay and no foundation laid go to this entire conversation?

"The Court: Yes sir.

"Mr. Wilmer: Q. Was there any statement made to Mr. Pearson at that time by anyone that elicited that statement or that answer? A. Yes, Sanborn -- he told us he would follow us in, and Sanborn said, 'You be damned sure you do follow us in,' and he said, 'I am. I work down here for Slay Hall, and I am on my way after a cotton trailer now.'"

Bert Sanborn testified:

"Why, when I stopped, and these gentlemen -- and these gentlemen were standing there, and I said to Mr. Pearson, 'This is a pretty tough thing,' I says, 'How did it happen?' And he says, 'I don't know how it happened,' and I says, 'I will go down and get the license number of this car,' and he says, 'It won't be necessary at all, because I work for Mr. Hall, and I will be along, following you right in.' And I told him that is what he should do."

Sanborn further testified:

"A. Why, that happened before I took the license number; when I told him that I would go and get the license number he said, 'It isn't necessary; I will follow you right in,' and he says, 'I work for Mr. Hall.' That is the reason he made that statement, he figured it wouldn't be necessary to get the license number, we would probably see him."

In main, we are correct on the quotations above, and in any event it carries out the purpose necessary in this case although the court did strike some of the evidence of witnesses.

It is not disputed that agency cannot ordinarily be established by the declarations of an agent. However, the exception to the rule is where, upon the whole case there appears other evidence from which an inference of agency arises, then res gestae statements are admissible and it is a matter for the court or jury to then determine.

That rule is carried out in the case of Broadway v. Jeffers, 185 S.C. 523, 194 S.E. 642, 647, 114 A.L.R. 1244, submitted by appellant, and from which we read the following:

"It is true that the declarations of an agent alone as to his agency are insufficient to prove agency; but it is also well established that if there are other corroborating facts and circumstances disclosed by the testimony, agency then becomes a question for the jury. General Motors Acceptance Corp. v. Chestnut, Sheriff, et al., 158 S.C. 42, 155 S.E. 231; Meehan v. Commercial Casualty Insurance Co., 166 S.C. 496, 165 S.E. 194."

And the appellant submits to us:

"His (alleged agent's) acts and statements cannot be made use of against the principal until the fact of the agency has been shown by other evidence."

This is taken from Mechem on Agency, page 208, Volume 1.

Appellant cites among the many other cases listed, the case of Stover v. Mackie, 170 Okl. 574, 41 P.2d 474, 476:

"While it is the general rule that declarations of an agent made to a third person in the absence of the alleged principal are inadmissible in evidence for the purpose of establishing agency, notwithstanding the rule, it has many well-established exceptions; one of the well-recognized exceptions to the rule is that, when agency is otherwise established by competent testimony, such declarations become admissible in corroboration...

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11 cases
  • Hayward v. Yost
    • United States
    • Idaho Supreme Court
    • April 3, 1952
    ...corroborative facts and circumstances disclosed by the evidence, agency then becomes a fact question for the jury, Maynard v. Hall, 61 Ariz. 32, 143 P.2d 884, 150 A.L.R. 618; also where such statements relate to the mission and destination they tend to unfold the transaction and to establis......
  • Stahl v. Cooper
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 12, 1948
    ... ... great measure rests in the discretion of the trial judge ... ( Maynard v. Hall, 61 Ariz. 32, 143 P.2d 884, 150 ... A.L.R. 618), still we might ... ...
  • State v. Hutchison
    • United States
    • Oregon Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1960
    ...Ins. Co. v. Heatfield, 141 F.2d 648, syl. 3, 4 (C.C.A.Wash., 1944) (statements one hour, and 1 1/2 hours, respectively); Maynard v. Hall, 61 Ariz. 32, 143 P.2d 884, syl. 3, 150 A.L.R. 618 (1946) (1 1/2-3 minutes); State v. Sucik, 217 Minn. 556, 14 N.W.2d 857 (1944) (2-3 minutes); State v. G......
  • Ray Korte Chevrolet v. Simmons
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • September 15, 1977
    ...improper attempt to prove an agency relationship between Stone and Korte through hearsay. The Arizona Supreme Court in Maynard v. Hall, 61 Ariz. 32, 143 P.2d 884 (1943), determined that an agency relationship cannot be established solely by declarations of the agent. However, where there ap......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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