McGlasson v. Barger

Citation163 Colo. 438,431 P.2d 778
Decision Date05 September 1967
Docket NumberNo. 21589,21589
PartiesLula A. McGLASSON, Plaintiff in Error, v. Ray BARGER, Joseph Barth, Gertrude Corkery, Jacqueline Wilcox, Charles F. Garcia, Earl Yates, William Lindhorst, Harold E. Cunningham and Katheryn Paskovitch, Defendants in Error.
CourtSupreme Court of Colorado

Truman E. Coles, Denver, Colleen K. Connelly, Golden, for plaintiff in error.

Lawrence M. Henry, U.S. Atty., for the Dist. of Colorado, Donald P. MacDonald, Asst. U.S. Atty., for the Dist. of Colorado, Denver, for defendant in error.

HODGES, Justice.

The parties appear here in the same order as in the trial court, and will herein be referred to as plaintiff and defendants.

The plaintiff's second amended complaint sounds in tort and alleges that the defendants wrongfully conspired to cause and induce her involuntary retirement because of total disability as a civil service clerk-typist at the United States Air Force Accounting and Finance Center, Denver, Colorado, referred to hereinafter as Finance Center. During the pertinent times involved, all the defendants were employed in civil service supervisory capacities at the Finance Center. Defendant Cunningham was plaintiff's immediate supervisor and the other defendants were supervisors of other departments, branches, or divisions which participate in processing personnel actions.

Plaintiff alleged that because of the unlawful conspiracy and the acts of the defendants, the plaintiff was retired involuntarily by the United States Civil Service Commission because of total disability. Plaintiff asks for judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally, for $37,239 as special damages, $500,000 as general damages and $240,000 as punitive damages.

Several separate defenses are set forth in the defendants' answer, however, it will not be necessary to consider any of them, with the exception of the general denial of material allegations.

A jury trial was requested and at the conclusion of the plaintiff's evidence, the defendants moved for a directed verdict, which the court granted. Thereupon dismissal was ordered and judgment was entered in favor of the defendants. The trial court found that the plaintiff had failed to establish a prima facie case of civil conspiracy. Specifically, the court found that:

1. 'There were two or more persons who acted independently or together, and that there was an object to be accomplished cannot be doubted; there was also a meeting of some minds on how the object or purpose was to be accomplished, but the plaintiff has failed to sustain her burden that they acted unlawfully or that an unlawful purpose was accomplished.'

2. 'The evidence in its entirety fails to show that cohesive quality that must tenaciously be present to show an unlawful concert of action or agreement. The evidence displays that the defendants did certain acts that led to the submission of the application for involuntary disability retirement, but these acts were done in the discharge of their official duties and in the course of their employment as required by the dictates of either the law or their superiors. The fact that some of the steps taken were pursuant to meetings and conferences between two or more of them does not by itself connote illegality.'

3. 'Was an unlawful separation of plaintiff from the Federal Civil Service shown by prima facie evidenc? There has been a complete lack of sufficient proof on this point to withstand a motion for disposition of the cause at this point. The evidence adduced shows that the plaintiff by her actions submitted to examinations by physicians of her own choosing.'

4. 'The totality of the evidence as postured at this point demands that the plaintiff's case must fall, and that the motion * * * should be granted.'

The primary basis of plaintiff's writ of error is that the court erred in granting defendants' motion for a directed verdict. Plaintiff seeks reversal and a new trial on the ground that the plaintiff's evidence did establish a prima facie case upon which a verdict in her favor could stand.

When a motion for a directed verdict is made, the trial court msut view the evidence in a light most favorable to the party against whom the motion is directed. Every reasonable inference to be drawn from the evidence presented is to be considered in a light most favorable to such party. A motion for directed verdict can only be granted where the evidence, when so considered, compels the conclusion...

To continue reading

Request your trial
45 cases
  • Moore v. Wyoming Medical Center
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Wyoming
    • July 1, 1993
    ...and means of obtaining the objective, one or more overt acts, and damages as the proximate result thereof. McGlasson v. Barger, 163 Colo. 438, 431 P.2d 778, 779 (1967); 16 AM.JUR.2D Conspiracy § 50 at 268 (1979); see generally Jerry Whitson, Note, Civil Conspiracy: A Substantive Tort?, 59 B......
  • Fair v. Red Lion Inn
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 30, 1997
    ...reasonable [jurors] could not [render a] verdict against the moving party," a directed verdict may be entered. McGlasson v. Barger, 163 Colo. 438, 442, 431 P.2d 778, 779 (1967) (citing Nettrour v. J.C. Penney Co., 146 Colo. 150, 360 P.2d 964 (1961)). The complex nature of a question usually......
  • Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis, Inc. v. Adams, 84SC58
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Colorado
    • May 12, 1986
    ...whom the motion is directed. Safeway Stores v. Langdon, 187 Colo. 425, 429-30, 532 P.2d 337, 340 (1975); McGlasson v. Barger, 163 Colo. 438, 442, 431 P.2d 778, 779 (1967). "A motion for directed verdict can only be granted where the evidence, when so considered, compels the conclusion that ......
  • Bleil v. Williams Prod. RMT Co.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Colorado
    • November 30, 2012
    ...goodwill. Plaintiff maintains that this constituted a civil conspiracy to violate sections 108(2)(a) and (d). See McGlasson v. Barger, 163 Colo. 438, 431 P.2d 778, 780 (1967) (“A civil conspiracy has also been defined as a combination of two or more persons by some concerted action to accom......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT