Taylor v. Williamson, No. 35253.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtARTHUR
Citation197 Iowa 88,196 N.W. 713
PartiesTAYLOR v. WILLIAMSON ET AL.
Decision Date15 January 1924
Docket NumberNo. 35253.

197 Iowa 88
196 N.W. 713

TAYLOR
v.
WILLIAMSON ET AL.

No. 35253.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

Jan. 15, 1924.


Appeal from District Court, Hardin County; G. D. Thompson, Judge.

Action to recover damages for assault and battery. Verdict was returned awarding damages against the three defendants in the amount of $3,000. Upon suggestion of the court, plaintiff filed remittitur of $1,000, and judgment was entered for $2,000, from which judgment defendants appeal. Affirmed.

[196 N.W. 713]

W. R. Williams, of Eldora, for appellants.

Lundy, Peisen & Soper, of Eldora, for appellee.


ARTHUR, C. J.

Rulings of the court on admission and exclusion of evidence are not attacked. No complaint is made of instructions to the jury. The evidence is conflicting. It is conceded that plaintiff made a case to go to the jury. The errors relied upon for reversal are that the verdict was excessive and the result of passion and prejudice, and that the court erred in refusing to grant a new trial.

Appellants assert that no actual damages were proven, or that, if any actual damages

[196 N.W. 714]

were proven, the amount thereof was so small that the verdict of $3,000 consisted almost entirely of exemplary damages, and is therefore excessive, and that the excessive exemplary damages awarded could not be rectified by a remittitur, and that it was error to refuse a new trial of the case.

II. To determine the questions involved, we must examine the evidence. The parties are farmers and neighbors, living in the vicinity of Steamboat Rock, Hardin county, Iowa. Defendant Gerald Williamson, who it is alleged committed the assault, is 20 years old. Defendant John Williamson is father of Gerald Williamson. Defendant Howard Perkins is a neighbor, not related to any of the parties, who was at the Williamson home at the time of the trouble.

Appellee, in substance, testified: That he was 35 years of age, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighed 140 pounds; that, in order to go to and from a farm he was working, he traveled by the Williamson home; that in the afternoon of June 3, 1921, he was driving on a road passing the Williamson house, riding on a corn plow; that as he got near the Williamson house he noticed an automobile standing in the highway and saw some one sitting in the car; that as he was driving by and had not spoken to any one, and got opposite the automobile, appellant John Williamson came out from behind the automobile and grabbed his horses and said, “Get him, Gerald, get him;” that appellant Gerald Williamson ran around the front end of the automobile and hit him twice in the shoulder and back of the head, at the same time saying, “Now, you God damn son of a bitch, we got you alone, and we are going to give you a beating;” that at the time Gerald struck him he was sitting on the plow seat with his feet in the stirrups of the corn plow; that when Gerald commenced hitting him he disentangled his feet from the stirrups and jumped to the ground and backed up against the corn plow; that when he arose, the seat and an iron strap to which it was fastened fell to the ground; that appellant, Perkins, jumped out of his car and removed the plow seat, permitted Gerald to move closer upon him; that about this time appellant John Williamson let go of the horses and approached him from the back and struck him on the back part of his head with his fist and knocked him into the machinery; that Gerald kept hitting him in the face with his fists, and appellant John Williamson kept on hitting him with his fists; that at this same time appellant Perkins picked up the plow and swung it saying, “I am going to kill you, God damn you, I am going to kill you;” that appellant would stop for a while, and then begin beating him again; that he called to a boy from the Industrial School, who was working for him and who was sitting on the corn plow, to help him, or get some one to help him; that appellants told the boy that if he made a move to get off the corn plow they would beat him up also; that appellant Perkins kept on threatening to strike him with the plow seat; that the Williamsons kept on hitting him and threatening him for about half an hour; that they told him they were going to kill him; that they were going to raise a mob of men and kill every Taylor in the community; that if he prosecuted them they would mob him within three days.

As to his injuries received, appellee testified that his face and head were cut in many places, and the blood ran down his face onto his clothes; that his side and back were cut from being thrown into the machinery, and that at the time of the trial he still had scars on his body; that his face and around his mouth and jaws swelled and remained swollen for a week or ten days, and that he was almost unable to talk or eat, and was...

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4 practice notes
  • Amos v. Prom, Civ. No. 571.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 30 Septiembre 1953
    ...v. Scoville, 1928, 206 Iowa 1134, 221 N.W. 802; Jones v. Van Donselaar, 1925, 200 Iowa 176, 204 N.W. 416; Taylor v. Williamson, 1924, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713, there is no mathematical ratio and exemplary damages may considerably exceed compensatory damages in some cases; Brause v. Brause,......
  • Bankers Life & Casualty Company v. Kirtley, No. 16930.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 24 Agosto 1962
    ...in which event the actual damages would be affirmed, or to have the case remanded for a new trial on all issues. In Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713, the court upheld a partial remittitur of the general award for both actual and punitive damages; the court refused to infer th......
  • Gallichio v. Gumina, No. A--189
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 19 Mayo 1955
    ...Cal.App. 131, 12 P.2d 50 (D.Ct.App.1932); Flannery v. Wood, 32 Tex.Civ.App. 250, 73 S.W. 1072 (Tex.Civ.App.1903); Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713 (Sup.Ct.1924). There is no reason in policy why the general power of the trial [114 A.2d 451] court to superintend the jury in re......
  • Alaska Ins. Co. v. Movin' On Const., Inc., No. S-835
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • 9 Mayo 1986
    ...no definite ratio between them is prescribed. Sturm, Ruger & Co. v. Day, 594 P.2d 38, 48 (Alaska 1979) (citing Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713 (1924)), modified, 615 P.2d 621 (Alaska 1980), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 894, 102 S.Ct. 391, 70 L.Ed.2d 209 (1981), overruled on other ......
4 cases
  • Amos v. Prom, Civ. No. 571.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 30 Septiembre 1953
    ...v. Scoville, 1928, 206 Iowa 1134, 221 N.W. 802; Jones v. Van Donselaar, 1925, 200 Iowa 176, 204 N.W. 416; Taylor v. Williamson, 1924, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713, there is no mathematical ratio and exemplary damages may considerably exceed compensatory damages in some cases; Brause v. Brause,......
  • Bankers Life & Casualty Company v. Kirtley, No. 16930.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • 24 Agosto 1962
    ...in which event the actual damages would be affirmed, or to have the case remanded for a new trial on all issues. In Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713, the court upheld a partial remittitur of the general award for both actual and punitive damages; the court refused to infer th......
  • Gallichio v. Gumina, No. A--189
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • 19 Mayo 1955
    ...Cal.App. 131, 12 P.2d 50 (D.Ct.App.1932); Flannery v. Wood, 32 Tex.Civ.App. 250, 73 S.W. 1072 (Tex.Civ.App.1903); Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713 (Sup.Ct.1924). There is no reason in policy why the general power of the trial [114 A.2d 451] court to superintend the jury in re......
  • Alaska Ins. Co. v. Movin' On Const., Inc., No. S-835
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • 9 Mayo 1986
    ...no definite ratio between them is prescribed. Sturm, Ruger & Co. v. Day, 594 P.2d 38, 48 (Alaska 1979) (citing Taylor v. Williamson, 197 Iowa 88, 196 N.W. 713 (1924)), modified, 615 P.2d 621 (Alaska 1980), cert. denied, 454 U.S. 894, 102 S.Ct. 391, 70 L.Ed.2d 209 (1981), overruled on other ......

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