Pure Oil Co. v. Quarles, Case Number: 24807

CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtRILEY, J.
Citation1935 OK 575,47 P.2d 124,173 Okla. 153
PartiesPURE OIL CO. et al. v. QUARLES et al.
Docket NumberCase Number: 24807
Decision Date21 May 1935

1935 OK 575
47 P.2d 124
173 Okla. 153

PURE OIL CO. et al.
QUARLES et al.

Case Number: 24807

Supreme Court of Oklahoma

Decided: May 21, 1935


¶0 Waters and Water Courses - Action for Damages for Pollution of Stock Water Supply in Pasture Lands by Oil Well Operations - Existence of Contract for Sale of Hay and Feed Erroneously Submitted to Jury Where not Supported by Evidence.

In an action to recover damages alleged to have been caused by the pollution of a stream supplying stock water in a pasture by deposit of salt water from oil and gas wells whereby the lessee in possession of such pasture lands lost the benefits of a contract he claims to have had with a third party for the sale of the use of said pasture and certain hay and feed, it is error to submit to the jury the question of whether or not there was in fact a contract for the sale of the hay and feed, where there is no competent evidence tending to establish the contract as to the sale of the hay and feed.

Appeal from District Court, Osage County; Jesse J. Worten, Judge.

Action by J.J. Quarles et al. against the Pure Oil Company et al. Judgment for plaintiffs, and defendants appeal; plaintiffs filing cross-petition in error because of order of remittitur. Reversed and remanded.

Alvin Richards, Hamilton & Howard, E.H. Chandler, Summers Hardy, and Robert L. Imler, for plaintiffs in error.

McCoy, Craig & Pearson, for defendants in error.


¶1 This is an appeal from a judgment in favor of defendants in error, herein referred to as plaintiffs, and against plaintiffs in error, in an action for damages for wrongful pollution of stock water supply in certain pasture lands, which plaintiff claimed to have had under lease, whereby plaintiffs assert they were deprived of the benefit of a contract which they had with one Mark Bozarth to sublease, or sell the use of, said pasture lands, together with certain hay and other feed. Verdict was for plaintiffs for actual and exemplary damages. The exemplary damages allowed by the verdict was for $1,000. On motion for new trial the court ordered plaintiffs to remit $750 of the amount allowed as exemplary damages, and that in case they refused so to do, a new trial would be granted.

¶2 Plaintiffs excepted to the order, but filed a remittitur in said sum. They filed a cross-petition in error because of this order.

¶3 The substance of plaintiffs' petition is that they had under lease for the last four months of 1930, and the year 1931, a large tract of land in Osage county, comprising some 2,960 acres, known as the Bennett pasture; that a part of said lands they held under oral lease or agreement with the owners thereof, or their lessees, and the remainder they held under written leases with the owners thereof. That some time in the summer of 1930, plaintiffs entered into an oral contract with Mark Bozarth for the renting of said lands for the fall of 1930, and the year 1931, for pasturing and feeding cattle, and for the sale of certain hay and other feed which plaintiffs then owned, for the aggregate sum of $5,600; that defendants were the owners of, and were operating certain oil and gas wells on certain lands adjacent to the Bennett pasture; that about September 1, 1930, and after the alleged contract between plaintiffs and Bozarth, defendants wrongfully, unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, and in wanton and reckless disregard of plaintiffs' rights, and in violation of section 7969, C. O. S. 1921 (sec. 11580, O. S. 1931), caused or permitted salt water and other deleterious substances and waste matter to escape from their oil and gas mining operations and flow over the surface and into a branch of stream running in or through their pasture so as to pollute the supply of stock water in said pasture lands, and that as a result thereof Bozarth declined to carry out his agreement with plaintiffs, whereby plaintiffs lost the benefit of their contract with Bozarth, and were unable to rent said pasture to others, or sell their said hay or feed, except that they did obtain some $300 from the sale of said hay and feed, all to plaintiffs' damage in the sum of $5,300.

¶4 The verdict, upon which judgment was entered, as to actual damages was...

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3 cases
  • Pure Oil Co. v. Quarles, Case Number: 27659
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • June 21, 1938
    ...to recover damages resulting from the pollution of a stream by salt water. ¶2 This cause has been here before (Pure Oil Co. v. Quarles, 173 Okla. 153, 47 P.2d 124). After remand thereof for new trial the parties waived jury, and trial to the court resulted in judgment for plaintiffs, and de......
  • Barnett v. Jones, 24582.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • June 25, 1935
    ...plaintiff at a disadvantage and taking him by surprise. For the same reason there was no error in denying defendant's offer of evidence [47 P.2d 124.] tending to substantiate the allegation in the proposed amendment. Defendant had not denied the execution of the note under oath; its executi......
  • Pure Oil Co. v. Quarles, 24807.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • May 21, 1935
    ...47 P.2d 124 173 Okla. 153, 1935 OK 575 PURE OIL CO. et al. v. QUARLES et al. No. 24807.Supreme Court of OklahomaMay 21, Rehearing Denied June 18, 1935. Application for Leave to File Second Petition for Rehearing Denied July 9, 1935. Syllabus by the Court. In an action to recover damages all......

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