Peck v. Gluck

Decision Date05 January 1943
Docket NumberNo. 1016.,1016.
Citation29 A.2d 814
CourtVermont Supreme Court
PartiesPECK v. GLUCK et al.

Exceptions from Rutland County Court; Walter H. Cleary, Judge.

Action by Nellie Peck against William Gluck and Barbara Burditt for personal injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Judgment for plaintiff against both defendants, and the defendant Burditt brings exceptions.



Asa S. Bloomer, of Rutland, for plaintiff.

Clayton H. Kinney, of Rutland, for defendant.


This is an action to recover for personal injuries resulting from a collision between an automobile driven by Mrs. Burditt, in which the plaintiff was riding as a gratuitous guest, and a car driven by Gluck, on the ground of gross negligence as against the former, and on the ground of ordinary negligence as against the latter. Verdict and judgment were against both defendants. The defendant Burditt has alone excepted, and unless otherwise named she will be referred to as the defendant.

The accident happened in the forenoon of August 14, 1941, on the main highway from Rutland to West Rutland when the Burditt car, which was proceeding easterly towards Rutland, collided with the Gluck car, which was traveling in the opposite direction, on and near the westerly end of a blind curve, where neither driver could see the other's car until the two cars were within 75 to 100 feet of each other. The evidence was very conflicting, but viewed most favorably to the plaintiff reasonably tended to show the following facts: The road consisted of two 9-foot cement lanes, divided by a white painted center line, and had tarvia shoulders. Each car was traveling at a speed of about 50 miles per hour. When the two cars came into view of each other the Gluck car was traveling with its left wheels a little to its left of the center line while the defendant's car was to her right of the center line on the lane on the outside of the curve. When about twenty-five feet apart the Gluck car started to pull to its right and defendant's car veered sharply to its left, and the right front end of defendant's car collided with the left front end of the Gluck car when the two cars were astride the center line. Neither driver had reduced speed, and the force of the impact was such that the front ends of the two cars were pushed to the north nearly across Gluck's side of the road. Had the defendant, instead of turning to the left, driven to her right upon the road shoulder and yielded more of the road to Gluck she would have had room to pass safely and without interference even though Gluck had not changed his course and attempted to pull back onto his side of the road. The defendant had traveled this road many times and was familiar with the curve where the accident happened, and knew that the road carried a heavy traffic.

The defendant excepted to the overruling of her motions for a directed verdict and to set aside the verdict. The grounds of these motions so far as briefed are that the evidence viewed most favorably to the plaintiff fails to show that the defendant was guilty of gross negligence, or an indifference to the duty which she owed to the plaintiff, or an utter forgetfulness of the plaintiff's safety; and that the undisputed physical facts show that Gluck was traveling so far to his left of the center of the road that there was no evidence sufficient to establish gross negligence on the defendant's part, or, as said in her brief, the evidence failed to show anything more than an error in judgment or loss of presence of mind.

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11 cases
  • Hardingham v. United Counseling Service of Bennington County, Inc., 94-096
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1995
    ...Lapham, 113 Vt. 191, 195, 32 A.2d 115, 117-18 (1943); Barrows v. Powell, 113 Vt. 109, 112, 29 A.2d 708, 710 (1943); Peck v. Gluck, 113 Vt. 53, 56, 29 A.2d 814, 815 (1943); Kerin v. Coates, 112 Vt. 466, 470, 28 A.2d 382, 384 (1942). Increasingly, the rationale for these decisions was contain......
  • Huestis v. Lapham's Estate., 78.
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • May 4, 1943
    ...106 Vt. 70, 169 A. 781; Ellison v. Colby, 110 Vt. 431, 436, 8 A.2d 637; Kelley v. Anthony, 110 Vt. 490, 495, 8 A.2d 641; Peck v. Gluck, 113 Vt. 53, 29 A.2d 814; Barrows v. Powell, 113 Vt. 109, 29 A.2d 708. Here Mr. Lapham, a man who had bushed out the road over the Lake so as to avoid the t......
  • Smith v. Grove
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • January 3, 1956 not being impossible, see Barrows v. Powell, supra, 113 Vt. at page 116, 29 A.2d at page 712 and cases there cited; also Peck v. Gluck, 113 Vt. 53, 56, 29 A.2d 814; Ranney's Adm'r v. St. Johnsbury Trucking Co., Inc., 116 Vt. 13, 16, 68 A.2d 697; Pomainville v. Bicknell, 118 Vt. 328, 330,......
  • McGrath v. Haines
    • United States
    • Vermont Supreme Court
    • April 6, 1965
    ...without question. Izor v. Brigham, 111 Vt. 438, 442, 17 A.2d 236; Johnson v. Cone, 112 Vt. 459, 463, 28 A.2d 384; Peck v. Gluck, 113 Vt. 53, 56, 29 A.2d 814; Barrows v. Powell, 113 Vt. 109, 116, 29 A.2d The facts upon which the defendant's judgment stands are not that well established. They......
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