Superior Oil Co. v. King, 37840

Citation324 P.2d 847
Decision Date23 April 1958
Docket NumberNo. 37840,37840
PartiesSUPERIOR OIL COMPANY, a corporation, Plaintiff in Error, v. Lester KING, Defendant in Error.
CourtSupreme Court of Oklahoma

Syllabus by the Court

1. One engaged in seismographic explorations through the use of explosives is liable in damages for injuries to another's property where a causal connection is established between defendant's acts and the injury to plaintiff's property.

2. Where there is any substantial evidence reasonably tending to sustain a jury's verdict and judgment based thereon, such verdict and judgment will not be reversed on appeal.

Appeal from District Court of Marshall County; W. J. Monroe, Judge.

Action by Lester King against Superior Oil Company to recover damages for destruction of water well on plaintiff's farm by explosive shot by defendant in seismograph operations. Judgment based upon jury verdict for plaintiff, and defendant appealed. Affirmed.

Dyer & Dyer, Ardmore, for plaintiff in error.

Williams, Williams & Williams, Ardmore, for defendant in error.


Lester King filed this action in the District Court of Marshall County against Superior Oil Company and Sun Oil Company, seeking damages for the destruction of a water well by a seismograph shot by defendants, and for exemplary damages for trespassing upon his farm and destroying his water well that had produced water for domestic use for forty years. The case was dismissed as to Sun Oil Company and the court ruled that plaintiff was not entitled to recover exemplary damages, and the ruling of the court is not complained of.

We shall refer to Lester King as plaintiff and Superior Oil Company as defendant as they appeared in the trial court. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $1,200 and the defendant has appealed.

The plaintiff owns the surface rights to a farm of over two hundred acres northeast of Madill and defendant operates its own seismograph crew. It is not disputed that the well involved is located near the dwelling of plaintiff, being a dug well forty feet deep. The hole about two hundred yards from plaintiff's well was shot about noon on July 8, 1955, and the next day the well produced no water and has since been dry. Plaintiff alleged that his well was destroyed through the negligence of defendant, and that a new well would cost $1,500. The evidence showed that 1955 was a dry year and that one spring and a branch had gone dry that year, but there was no proof that any dug wells had gone dry that year in that vicinity.

It is settled in this State that one engaged in seismograph explorations is liable in damages for injuries done to another's property through the use of explosives. Seismograph Service Corporation v. Buchanan, Okl., 316...

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3 cases
  • Garland Coal & Mining Company v. Few
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • June 27, 1959
    ...191 Okl. 41, 126 P.2d 530; Seismograph Service Corp. v. Buchanan, Okl., 316 P.2d 185;4 Smith v. Yoho, Okl., 324 P.2d 531; Superior Oil Co. v. King, Okl., 324 P.2d 847. While seemingly conceding that the Oklahoma decisions have construed Art. 2, § 23 of the Constitution to permit recovery wi......
  • Ward v. H. B. Zachry Const. Co., 76-1690
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • January 6, 1978
    ...liability without regard to negligence. States Exploration Company v. Reynolds, 344 P.2d 275, 278 (Okl.1959); Superior Oil Company v. King, 324 P.2d 847, 848 (Okl.1958); Smith v. Yoho, 324 P.2d 531, 533 (Okl.1958); Seismograph Service Corporation v. Buchanan, 316 P.2d 185, 186-187 (Okl.1957......
  • States Exploration Co. v. Reynolds
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • September 15, 1959
    ...defendant's liability. Seismograph Service Corp. v. Buchanan, Okl., 316 P.2d 185; Smith v. Yoho, Okl., 324 P.2d 531, and Superior Oil Co. v. King, Okl., 324 P.2d 847. Instruction No. 5 instructed the jury that if it found by a preponderance of the evidence that as a direct and proximate res......

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