Mueller v. Schien, No. 38637.

CourtMissouri Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtDalton
Citation176 S.W.2d 449
PartiesBARBARA MUELLER, Appellant, v. CLARA T. SCHIEN, Doing Business as SCHIEN TRUCK LINES.
Decision Date06 December 1943
Docket NumberNo. 38637.
176 S.W.2d 449
BARBARA MUELLER, Appellant,
v.
CLARA T. SCHIEN, Doing Business as SCHIEN TRUCK LINES.
No. 38637.
Supreme Court of Missouri.
Division One, December 6, 1943.
Rehearing Denied, January 3, 1944.

[176 S.W.2d 450]

Appeal from Pettis Circuit Court.Hon. Dimmitt Hoffman, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

Roberts P. Elam and Frank W. Hayes for appellant.

(1) The giving of Instruction A at defendant's request was error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reasons that this instruction exacted of plaintiff a higher degree of proof than the law required, and was tantamount to an instruction directing a verdict for the defendant, in that it required her to establish negligence on the part of the defendant "by all the facts and circumstances introduced in evidence." Nelson v. Evans, 338 Mo. 991, 93 S.W. (2d) 651; Wright v. Quattrochi, 330 Mo. 173, 49 S.W. (2d) 3; Gillette v. Laederich, 242 S.W. 112. (2) This Instruction A was in direct conflict with plaintiff's Instruction 1 which properly defined the degree of proof required of plaintiff in order for her to recover. Nelson v. Evans, 338 Mo. 991, 93 S.W. (2d) 651; Burneson v. Zumwalt Co., 349 Mo. 94, 159 S.W. (2d) 605. (3) The first phrase of this Instruction A constituted an unnecessary and improper comment upon the evidence relating to the fact of plaintiff's injury. Licklider v. Domian, 96 S.W. (2d) 641; C.I.T. Corp. v. Hume, 48 S.W. (2d) 154; Swink v. Anthony, 96 Mo. App. 420, 70 S.W. 272. (4) This Instruction A was highly argumentative in form. Fowlkes v. Stephens, 342 Mo. 237, 114 S.W. (2d) 997. (5) The giving of Instruction B was error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reasons that: this instruction, by requiring the plaintiff to prove the facts necessary to a verdict in her favor "to the satisfaction" of the jury, exacted of her a higher degree of proof than the law requires in civil cases, and had the effect of requiring of her proof of those facts beyond doubt and to a certainty. Nelson v. Evans, 338 Mo. 991, 93 S.W. (2d) 651; Krause v. Spurgeon, 256 S.W. 1072; Seago v. New York Central R. Co., 349 Mo. 1249, 164 S.W. (2d) 336; Endowment Rank of Order of K.P. v. Steele, 107 Tenn. 1, 63 S.W. 1126; Brewer v. Doose, 146 S.W. 323; Texas Indemnity Co. v. Holloway, 30 S.W. (2d) 921; Henderson v. Page, 78 S.W. (2d) 293; Heacock v. Baule, 216 Iowa, 311, 249 N.E. 437; United Dentists, Inc., v. Commonwealth, 162 Va. 347, 173 S.E. 508; Hyndshaw v. Mills, 108 Neb. 250, 187 N.W. 780; Myerl v. Gutzeit, 50 Ohio App. 83, 197 N.E. 503; Nabers v. Long, 207 Ala. 270, 92 So. 444; Midland Valley R. Co. v. Barnes, 162 Okla. 44, 18 Pac. (2d) 1089; Sonneman v. Mertz, 221 Ill. 362, 77 N.E. 550; Cincinnati, H. & D.R. Co. v. Frye, 80 Ohio St. 289, 88 N.E. 642; Harig v. McCutcheon, 23 Ohio App. 500, 155 N.E. 701; Karona Jewelry & Music House v. Loveland, 25 Ohio App. 116; Detroit & I.R.R. Co. v. Wahl, 160 N.E. 638; Tregoning v. Tregoning, 262 Ill. App. 489; D'Antoni v. Teche Lines, 163 Miss. 668, 143 So. 415; Baines v. Ullman, 71 Tex. 529, 9 S.W. 543; Finks v. Cox, 30 S.W. 512; Western Cottage Piano & Organ Co. v. Anderson, 45 Tex. Civ. App. 513, 101 S.W. 1061; Cleveland, C.C. & St. L.R. Co. v. Best, 169 Ill. 301, 48 N.E. 684; Rosenbaum Bros. v. Levitt, 109 Iowa, 292, 80 N.W. 923; Washington v. State, 124 Ga. 423, 52 S.E. 910; Hoffman v. Loud, 111 Mich. 156, 69 N.E. 231. (6) This Instruction B was in direct conflict with plaintiff's Instruction 1, which correctly defined the burden of proof which the law placed upon the plaintiff. Authorities cited under point (2), supra. (7) The giving of Instruction C was error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reason that the first clause of that instruction constituted an undue and improper comment upon the evidence relating to the fact of plaintiff's injury. Authorities cited under point (3), supra. (8) The giving of instructions A, B and C, collectively, was error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reason that those instructions were not only erroneous for the reasons hereinbefore assigned, but they abounded with repetition of, and unduly emphasized, the law relating to the burden of proof. This repetition and undue emphasis was misleading and confusing to the jury. Flint v. Loew's St. Louis, etc., Co., 344 Mo. 310, 126 S.W. (2d) 196; Rouchene v. Gamble Const. Co., 338 Mo. 123, 89 S.W. (2d) 58; Wolfson v. Cohen, 55 S.W. (2d) 677; Oliver v. Morgan, 73 S.W. (2d) 993; Miller v. Williams, 76 S.W. (2d) 355; Fantroy v. Schirmer, 296 S.W. 235. (9) The giving of Instruction D was error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reason that this instruction was highly misleading and confusing, in that it tended to permit the jurors to substitute for the evidence their individual common observation and experience as a basis for their verdict, and to permit the jurors to disregard the testimony of any witness which might be in conflict with such common observation and experience. Evans v. Klusmeyer, 301 Mo. 352, 256 S.W. 1036; State v. Willard, 346 Mo. 773, 142 S.W. (2d) 1046; Schmitt v. St. Louis Transit Co., 115 Mo. App. 445, 90 S.W. 421. (10) The giving of Instruction F at defendant's request was error prejudicial to plaintiff because that instruction assumed a fact in controversy. Clark v. Atchison & Eastern Bridge Co., 324 Mo. 544, 24 S.W. (2d) 143; McCombs v. Ellsberry, 337 Mo. 491, 85 S.W. (2d) 135; Kirkham v. Jenkins Music Co., 340 Mo. 911, 104 S.W. (2d) 234; Taylor v. Kansas City, 342 Mo. 109, 112 S.W. (2d) 562.

Montgomery, Martin & Salveter and W.M. Ilgenfritz for respondent.

(1) The giving of Instruction A at defendant's request was not error prejudicial to plaintiff for the reasons that: the instruction did not exact of the plaintiff a higher degree of proof than the law required and it was not tantamount to an instruction directing a verdict for the defendant, in that it required her to establish negligence on the part of the defendant by all the facts and circumstances introduced in evidence. Manthey v. Kellerman Contracting Co., 311 Mo. 147, 277 S.W. 927; Rexford v. Phillippi, 327 Mo. 389, 84 S.W. (2d) 628; Blankenship v. St. Louis Public Serv. Co., 71 S.W. (2d) 723; Gardner v. Turk, 343 Mo. 899, 123 S.W. (2d) 158; Hicks v. Vieth, 46 S.W. (2d) 604; Geisman v. Mo. Edison Elec. Co., 173 Mo. 654, 73 S.W. 654; Bloch v. Kinder, 338 Mo. 1099, 93 S.W. (2d) 932. (2) There is no conflict between Instruction A given for defendant and Instruction 1 given for plaintiff. Instruction A correctly hypothesized facts and circumstances which if found true by the jury, justified a verdict for the defendant. Authorities cited under (1), supra. (3) The first phrase of defendant's Instruction A does not constitute an unnecessary or improper comment upon the evidence concerning plaintiff's injury. Gardner v. Turk, 343 Mo. 899, 123 S.W. (2d) 158; Manthey v. Kellerman Contracting Co., 311 Mo. 147, 277 S.W. 927; Barraclough v. Union Pacific, 331 Mo. 157, 52 S.W. (2d) 998; Nicholson v. Franciscus, 40 S.W. (2d) 623; Sharp v. Carthage, 319 Mo. 1028, 5 S.W. (2d) 6; Narharski v. Electric Term. Ry., 310 Mo. 227, 274 S.W. 1025; Moss v. Wells, 249 S.W. 411. (4) Instruction A was not highly argumentative in form. It merely directed the jury first to decide whether the defendant was negligent before considering the nature and extent of plaintiff's injuries. (5) The giving of Instruction B was not error prejudicial to the plaintiff for the reasons that Instruction B by requiring the plaintiff to prove the facts necessary to a verdict in her favor "to the satisfaction" of the jury "by the preponderance or the greater weight of the credible testimony," did not exact of her a higher degree of proof than the law requires in civil cases, nor did it have the effect of requiring of her proof of those facts beyond doubt and to a certainty. "To the satisfaction of the jury" instructions have been upheld in numerous cases in Missouri, a few being as follows: Geisman v. Mo. Edison Elec. Co., 173 Mo. 654, 73 S.W. 654; Guiney v. Southern Elec. Ry., 167 Mo. 595, 67 S.W. 296; Eisenbarth v. Powell Bros. Truck Line, 125 S.W. (2d) 899; Webb v. Baldwin, 165 Mo. App. l.c. 249, 147 S.W. 849; Gardner v. Turk, 343 Mo. 899, 123 S.W. (2d) 158; Bloch v. Kinder, 338 Mo. 1099, 93 S.W. (2d) 932; Blankenship v. St. Louis Public Serv. Co., 71 S.W. (2d) 723; Branson v. Abernathy Furniture Co., 344 Mo. 1171, 130 S.W. (2d) 562; Doherty v. St. Louis Butter Co., 339 Mo. 996, 98 S.W. (2d) 742; Koevel v. Tieman Coal & Material Co., 337 Mo. 561, 85 S.W. (2d) 519; Payne v. Reed, 332 Mo. 343, 59 S.W. (2d) 43; Denkman v. Prudential Fixture Co., 289 S.W. 591; Harrison v. Bence, 270. S.W. 363; Shepard v. Schaff, 241 S.W. 431; Boyce v. Donnellan, 168 S.W. (2d) 120; Rath v. Knight, 55 S.W. (2d) 682; Stolovey v. Fleming, 328 Mo. 623, 8 S.W. (2d) 832; Malone v. Franke, 274 S.W. 369. (6) Instruction B was not in direct conflict with plaintiff's Instruction I. Both instructions required plaintiff to prove her case by "the preponderance or greater weight of the credible testimony." Authorities cited under Point (5), supra. (7) Instruction C required the jury to find negligence on the part of the defendant before they could allow recovery by plaintiff for her injuries, and reference to her injuries did not constitute an improper comment on the evidence. Authorities cited under Point (3), supra. (8) The giving of instructions A, B, and C collectively was not error prejudicial to the plaintiff in that the instructions were not erroneous for the reasons hereinbefore assigned by the plaintiff and they do neither abound with repetition of, nor do they unduly emphasize the law relating to the burden of proof. Fowler v. Crockett, 281 S.W. 116; Rath v. Knight, 55 S.W. (2d) 682; Hulsey v. Tower Grove Quarry & Constr. Co., 326 Mo. 194, 30 S.W. (2d) 1018; Schultz v. Schultz, 316 Mo. 728, 293 S.W. 105; Wolfe v. Payne, 294 Mo. 170, 241 S.W. 915; Harrison v. Bence, 270 S.W. 363; Huss v. Heydt Bakery Co., 210 Mo. 44, 108 S.W. 63. (9) The giving of...

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44 practice notes
  • Gould v. M.F.A. Mut. Ins. Co., No. 7795
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • February 4, 1960
    ...T. & S. F. Ry. Co., Mo., 297 S.W.2d 497, 502(6). 20 Lewis v. Zagata, 350 Mo. 446, 166 S.W.2d 541, 545(5); Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W.2d 449, 453(11); Machens v. Machens, Mo., 263 S.W.2d 724, 732(7); Wade v. Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery, Mo., 270 S.W.2d 811, 814;......
  • Wagner v. Shelly, No. 20937.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 1, 1948
    ...2d 963; Longmire v. Diagraph-Bradley Stencil Machine Corporation, 237 Mo. App. 553, 173 S.W. 2d 641; Mueller v. Schein, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W. 2d 449. (2) Assuming in accordance with appellant's contention that the action taken by respondent was insufficient to substitute appellant this proc......
  • Zesch v. The Abrasive Co. of Philadelphia, No. 39133.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 6, 1944
    ...128. Defendant-appellant has cited the cases of Steinmetz v. Nichols, 352 Mo. 1047, 180 S.W. 2d 712; Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W. 2d 449; Lewis v. Zagata, 350 Mo. 446, 166 S.W. 2d 541; Dove v. Atchison, T. & S.F.R. Co., 349 Mo. 798, 163 S.W. 2d 548; and Gardner v. Turk, 343 Mo. ......
  • McDill v. Terminal R. R. Ass'n of St. Louis, No. 43880
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 12, 1954
    ...of the action.' Under the statute the burden rests upon the appellant to establish reversible error. Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W.2d 449, 453[7-9]; Cornwell v. Highway Motor Freight Line, Inc., 348 Mo. 19, 152 S.W.2d 10, 16; Smithpeter v. Wabash R. Co., 360 Mo. 835, 231 S.W.2d 13......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
44 cases
  • Gould v. M.F.A. Mut. Ins. Co., No. 7795
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • February 4, 1960
    ...T. & S. F. Ry. Co., Mo., 297 S.W.2d 497, 502(6). 20 Lewis v. Zagata, 350 Mo. 446, 166 S.W.2d 541, 545(5); Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W.2d 449, 453(11); Machens v. Machens, Mo., 263 S.W.2d 724, 732(7); Wade v. Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery, Mo., 270 S.W.2d 811, 814;......
  • Wagner v. Shelly, No. 20937.
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 1, 1948
    ...2d 963; Longmire v. Diagraph-Bradley Stencil Machine Corporation, 237 Mo. App. 553, 173 S.W. 2d 641; Mueller v. Schein, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W. 2d 449. (2) Assuming in accordance with appellant's contention that the action taken by respondent was insufficient to substitute appellant this proc......
  • Zesch v. The Abrasive Co. of Philadelphia, No. 39133.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 6, 1944
    ...128. Defendant-appellant has cited the cases of Steinmetz v. Nichols, 352 Mo. 1047, 180 S.W. 2d 712; Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W. 2d 449; Lewis v. Zagata, 350 Mo. 446, 166 S.W. 2d 541; Dove v. Atchison, T. & S.F.R. Co., 349 Mo. 798, 163 S.W. 2d 548; and Gardner v. Turk, 343 Mo. ......
  • McDill v. Terminal R. R. Ass'n of St. Louis, No. 43880
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • April 12, 1954
    ...of the action.' Under the statute the burden rests upon the appellant to establish reversible error. Mueller v. Schien, 352 Mo. 180, 176 S.W.2d 449, 453[7-9]; Cornwell v. Highway Motor Freight Line, Inc., 348 Mo. 19, 152 S.W.2d 10, 16; Smithpeter v. Wabash R. Co., 360 Mo. 835, 231 S.W.2d 13......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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