Waterman v. Jim Walter Corp.

Decision Date23 September 1968
Docket NumberNo. 5--4639,5--4639
Citation431 S.W.2d 748,245 Ark. 218
PartiesEdward WATERMAN, Appellant, v. JIM WALTER CORPORATION et al., Appellees.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Edward H. Patterson, Clarksville, for appellant.

Hardin, Barton, Hardin & Jesson, Ft. Smith, for appellees.

BROWN, Justice.

This suit stems from a vehicular collision between appellant Edward Waterman, and a driver for Jim Walter Corporation. The latter had leased a vehicle from Southern Auto Leasing Company. Jim Walter sued Waterman for damages, and Southern was later permitted to join in the case as a plaintiff. Jim Walter and Southern recovered judgment. Waterman appeals, questioning the right of Jim Walter, the lessee, to bring the suit. Secondly, Waterman questions the right of Southern to be made a party plaintiff since Southern is a foreign corporation having no office in Sebastian County.

The case was tried to a jury but the appeal is based on a partial record which incorporates only the pleadings, motions, orders thereon, and judgment.

When Jim Walter filed suit for damages to the vehicle, it alleged ownership. Other pertinent allegations are that Jim Walter is authorized to do business in Arkansas; that its principal office is in Sebastian County; that the accident occurred in Johnson County, the residence of Waterman; and that Waterman's negligence was the sole cause of the collision. Actually, Jim Walter sued Waterman and his father, alleging young Waterman to have been the agent of his father; however, the jury found against the plea of agency, from which there was no appeal.

The Watermans filed an answer and cross-complaint. They denied Jim Walter owned the damaged vehicle forming the basis of the complaint. However, the Watermans alleged some type of lease agreement between Jim Walter and Southern Auto Leasing Corporation.

Jim Walter subsequently filed a 'Motion to Allow Plaintiff to Amend Complaint.' By that pleading it was sought to make Southern a party plaintiff in view of the Watermans' allegation of ownership. That motion was granted on the day of filing. The next day an amendment was filed, alleging ownership of the car in Southern and asserting that Jim Walter was in possession under a lease agreement. A copy of that amendment was served on the Watermans' counsel.

Six months later the Watermans moved to dismiss the amendment. The thrust of the argument was (1) that they had no notice of the filing of the motion to amend, (2) that Jim Walter was never legally in court because it did not own the automobile as alleged in the original complaint, and (3) that Jim Walter had no residence in Sebastian County. That motion was overruled and the action went to trial.

First, it is here contended that Jim Walter's original complaint did not state a cause of action in that Jim Walter's asserted ownership was a misstatement. However, by amendment, Jim Walter asserted a bailee interest which allegedly entitled it to recover for damages to the automobile. A copy of the amendment was received by Waterman's counsel. Permission was granted Jim Walter to amend without notice to Waterman, but,...

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3 cases
  • Hargis v. Hargis, 87-10
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • June 22, 1987
    ...of County Judges v. Green, 232 Ark. 438, 338 S.W.2d 672 (1960). However, the venue of an action may be waived. Waterman v. Jim Walter Corp., 245 Ark. 218, 431 S.W.2d 748 (1968). For example, in Arkansas State Racing Comm'n v. Southland Racing Corp., 226 Ark. 995, 295 S.W.2d 617 (1956), we s......
  • Ar Game & Fish v. Honorable John N. Harkey
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • June 14, 2001
    ...is thereby waived. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. Lindsey, 292 Ark. 314, 730 S.W.2d 474 (1987). See also, Waterman v. Jim Walter Corp., 245 Ark. 218, 431 S.W.2d 748 (1968). In fact, absent an objection, a trial court has the power to render a binding judgment even though venue is not pr......
  • Bone v. Capital Welding Supply Co., 5--4645
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • September 23, 1968

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