Schnabel v. Mormann, No. X-268

CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)
Writing for the CourtBOYER
Citation324 So.2d 197
PartiesBetty Jean SCHNABEL and Insurance Company of North America, a corporation, Appellants, v. Dorothy MORMANN and Willard Mormann, her husband, Appellees.
Docket NumberNo. X-268
Decision Date05 November 1975

Page 197

324 So.2d 197
Betty Jean SCHNABEL and Insurance Company of North America, a corporation, Appellants,
v.
Dorothy MORMANN and Willard Mormann, her husband, Appellees.
No. X-268.
District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.
Nov. 5, 1975.
Rehearing Denied Jan. 16, 1976.

Page 198

Green, Strasser & Hammond, Daytona Beach, for appellants.

Wesley A. Fink, Fink & Loucks, Daytona Beach, for appellees.

BOYER, Chief Judge.

Appellants, defendants below, appeal from an award of damages to appellees in the trial court. Specifically, appellants assert that the trial court erred in denying their motion for a directed verdict and in giving an instruction to the jury on res ipsa loquitur.

Although the case involved several parties, the primary participants in the drama giving rise to the lawsuit are appellants Betty Jean Schnabel (Mrs. Schnabel) and her mother, appellee Dorothy Mormann (Mrs. Mormann). In April of 1961, Mrs. Schnabel purchased a 196s Buick. After using the car for approximately ten years, Mrs. Schnabel noticed that the car was leaking gasoline, which she immediately had repaired in July of 1971. From this time until the date of the accident, Mrs. Schnabel professed to have no knowledge that her car was leaking gasoline. From December, 1971, until the time of the accident, the car, when not being used, was kept in Mrs. Schnabel's garage in Ormond Beach and was driven almost daily by Mrs. Schnabel until Mrs. Mormann arrived on July 17, 1972. From July 17 until July 26 (the day of the accident), the car was parked in the garage and was not used. Neither Mrs. Schnabel nor Mrs. Mormann went into the garage after Mrs. Mormann arrived until the date of the accident. On July 21, Mrs. Schnabel went out of town, leaving her mother to take care of the house. In the early evening of July 26, Mrs. Mormann entered the garage for the purpose of using the washing machine. After turning on the machine and walking into the section of the garage where the car was kept, there was an explosion. Mrs. Mormann received severe burns from the explosion and resulting fire.

At trial, Officer Bushid, a Public Safety Officer with the City of Ormond Beach, testified that on the day of the accident he received a call concerning the fire and went immediately to the scene. Upon arrival, he found that the garage door was partially opened, and that a man who was attempting to put the fire out had backed the car out a foot or two. His investigation revealed that the gas line in the 1961 Buick that led from the gas tank to the fuel pump had been leaking at a fast rate. He stated that there were at least four overlapping gasoline stains with tire marks through them on the...

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2 practice notes
  • Wilson v. Wilson, No. 79-194
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 8, 1980
    ...no evidence which would lead to the conclusion that the landlord should have anticipated or foreseen the accident. Schnabel v. Mormann, 324 So.2d 197 (Fla. 1st DCA In summary, appellees were not shown to have had knowledge, either actual or constructive, that the gasoline was on the premise......
  • Mormann v. Schnabel
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1976
    ...602 336 So.2d 602 Mormann v. Schnabel NO. 48909 Supreme Court of Florida. June 21, 1976 Appeal From: 1st DCA, 324 So.2d 197 Disposition: Cert....
2 cases
  • Wilson v. Wilson, No. 79-194
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 8, 1980
    ...no evidence which would lead to the conclusion that the landlord should have anticipated or foreseen the accident. Schnabel v. Mormann, 324 So.2d 197 (Fla. 1st DCA In summary, appellees were not shown to have had knowledge, either actual or constructive, that the gasoline was on the premise......
  • Mormann v. Schnabel
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1976
    ...602 336 So.2d 602 Mormann v. Schnabel NO. 48909 Supreme Court of Florida. June 21, 1976 Appeal From: 1st DCA, 324 So.2d 197 Disposition: Cert....

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