Stewart v. Stout

Decision Date09 May 1960
Docket NumberNo. 18661,18661
PartiesHarry STEWART, Plaintiff in Error, v. Homer Acel STOUT, Defendant in Error.
CourtColorado Supreme Court

Faith Moore Olsen, Denver, for plaintiff in error.

Yegge, Bates, Hall & Shulenburg, Raymond J. Connell, Denver, for defendant in error.

PER CURIAM.

The parties are here in the same order they appeared in the trial court and we will so refer to them.

Plaintiff sought to recover property damages claimed as the result of an automobile collision between a truck driven by the defendant and a passenger automobile driven by the plaintiff. The accident occurred on a public highway, approximately 20 miles south of Laramie, Wyoming, on May 1, 1953. Since both parties are residents of this state the action was brought in our courts. Both plaintiff and defendant were driving in a southerly direction in an area of mountainous terrain on a curving road. The point where the accident occurred was not visible until rounding a curve near the top of a hill, at which point the road was icy and slippery. As plaintiff approached the point where the accident occurred he saw other cars ahead of him were having trouble, and attempted to pull off the road to a graveled portion of the highway. Defendant's truck came from behind and struck plaintiff's car, while also attempting to turn to the side of the road. The roads were dry between Laramie and the scene of the accident and both vehicles were traveling within the established speed limits.

Trial was to the court and at the close of all the evidence judgment was entered for defendant on the theory that being confronted with a sudden emergency the defendant acted as a person of ordinary prudence would act in the circumstances, and that defendant was not, therefore, guilty of negligence.

In Denver-Los Angeles Trucking Co. v. Ward, 114 Colo. 348, 164 P.2d 730, 732, the court said:

'A person who, through no fault of his own, is placed in a sudden emergency, is not chargeable with negligence if he exercises in the emergency the care of a reasonably prudent individual under like circumstances.'

Whether the course chosen by defendant under the same circumstances was reasonable is a question of fact to be determined by the trier of facts, as is the question of whether there was a sudden emergency.

From the evidence it is apparent that both parties came upon a patch of ice on a curve on a mountainous road when there had been no ice on the road...

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9 cases
  • Young v. Clark, 90SC354
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • July 9, 1991
    ...362 (1972); Cudney v. Moore, 163 Colo. 30, 428 P.2d 81 (1967); Daigle v. Prather, 152 Colo. 115, 380 P.2d 670 (1963); Stewart v. Stout, 143 Colo. 70, 351 P.2d 847 (1960); Ridley v. Young, 127 Colo. 46, 253 P.2d 433 (1953). In all of these cases, it was deemed appropriate to give a sudden em......
  • Kendrick v. Pippin
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • May 9, 2011
    ...unexpectedly encountered a patch of ice on a curve of a mountainous road that was completely dry until that point, Stewart v. Stout, 143 Colo. 70, 72, 351 P.2d 847, 848 (1960). In each of these cases, the party was confronted with an unanticipated and unforeseeable occurrence calling for im......
  • Kendrick v. Pippin
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals
    • August 6, 2009
    ...by the fact finder. Hesse, 176 P.3d at 764; Davis v. Cline, 177 Colo. 204, 208, 493 P.2d 362, 364 (1972); Stewart v. Stout, 143 Colo. 70, 72, 351 P.2d 847, 848 (1960); Vu v. Fouts, 924 P.2d 1129, 1132 A party is entitled to have a sudden emergency instruction submitted to the jury "where co......
  • Davis v. Cline, 11
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court
    • January 31, 1972
    ...prudent is a question of fact to be determined by the trier of fact, as is the question of whether there is an emergency. Stewart v. Stout, 143 Colo. 70, 351 P.2d 847. Here, plaintiff's theory of her case, which was supported by competent evidence, was that she chose a course of conduct--to......
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