Karl v C A Reed Lumber Co 275 Cal App 2d 358 Volume 275 Cal App 2d California… — Volkswagen Transp

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Karl v. C. A. Reed Lumber Co.

275 App. 2d 358

[Civ. No. 9258. Dist. Div. Two. 31, 1969.]

PATRICIA KARL, a etc. Plaintiff and Respondent, v. C. A. LUMBER CO. INC. Defendant and


Thompson Colegate, R. Raftery and Richard C. Field for and Appellant. [275 Cal. 2d 360]

Carroll Anderson and J. Kent for Plaintiff and Respondent.


Following the rendition of a verdict and the entry of a judgment for the in a wrongful death action, the granted plaintiff’s motion for a new on the ground that it erred in to instruct the jury of the duty of a to stop at the scene of an accident and aid to persons injured in the accident. Code, §§ 20001, 20003.) trial the court had ruled the jury’s presence that regarding failure to stop and aid could not be introduced since of the statute had not been raised as an in the complaint or the pretrial order.

is an action by Patricia Karl, a of the age of three years at the time of the acting by her guardian ad litem, to damages for the wrongful death of her The mother was killed about 4 on December 22, 1963, in a collision a Volkswagen driven by the minor’s and a truck-trailer operated by Artis an agent of the defendant C. A. Reed Company, Inc. The minor, her and brother were riding in the at the time of the collision. The father, and brother were killed in the the minor being the sole of those occupying the Volkswagen. vehicles were traveling in an direction on U.S. Highway 99 in County when the Volkswagen with the rear of the truck-trailer (.8) of a mile west of the Avenue overpass.

The truck driver’s version of the took the following form: He a jolt which caused him to be against the truck’s steering not seeing any lights to his rear, he that his load—a large saw—had shifted; although he down, he did not stop until he a point two-tenths (.2) of a west of the Washington Avenue after inspecting his load, he glass on the rear of the trailer; he was aware of his possible involvement in an he did not return to the point of impact.

Defendant maintains that the instructions were properly for two reasons: (1) The complaint and pretrial did not raise the issue of defendant’s negligence; and (2) the evidence was insufficient to instruction on the issue. [275 App. 2d 361]

[1] The law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an resulting in injury to any person immediately stop the vehicle at the of the accident and, if able, aid and reasonable assistance to any person in the accident. (Veh. Code, §§ fn. 1 20003. fn. 2) The purpose of the statute is to drivers from leaving persons in distress and danger lack of medical care, and seeking to avoid civil or liability resulting from the (People v. Jordan, 214 Cal. 2d 400, 402 [29 Cal.Rptr. 619]; v. Kaufman, 49 Cal.App. 570, 573 P. 953].) [2] The statutory requirement of and rendering aid to the injured is merely a of the common law objective of preventing harm which the actor or should realize threatens the person. (Brooks v. E. J. Willig Transp. Co. 40 Cal. 2d 669, 679 P.2d 802].) [3] This is imposed upon a driver of fault, and a violation gives to civil liability if it is the proximate of further injury or death. v. E. J. Willig Truck Transp. Co. [4] Failure to stop and render aid negligence as a matter of law, in the of a legally sufficient excuse or (Escobedo v. Travelers Ins. Co. 197 App. 2d 118, 124 [17 Cal.Rptr. Consequently, failure to stop and aid after an injury-causing accident may an independent wrong irrespective of any responsibility for the original injury. v. E. J. Willig Truck Transp. Co. Escobedo v. Travelers Ins. Co. 227 App. 2d 353, 359 [38 Cal.Rptr. Summers v. Dominguez, 29 Cal. 2d 308, 312-313 [84 P.2d

[5a] Defendant maintains the pleadings and pretrial order did not the issue of the defendant’s negligence in to stop and render aid, but charged the defendant’s driver negligent operation of the truck-trailer at the of the collision. [6] However, negligence may be in general terms, which that it is sufficient to state an act was negligently done without the particular omission which it negligent. (McBride v. Atchison, S. F. Ry. Co. 44 Cal. 2d 113, 119 [279 966].) [5b] Under allegations of negligence, a plaintiff is to prove any act which constituted in the operation and control of a vehicle, a statutory violation amounting to violations of [275 Cal. 2d 362] specific statutes not be alleged, but may be properly shown a general averment of negligence; a complaint alleges that was negligent in the operation and control of his and by reason thereof a collision resulting in injury or death, the is sufficient to place in issue the failure to stop and render (Brooks v. E. J. Willig Truck Co. supra, 40 Cal. 2d 669,

[7] Defendant argues that the did not warrant instructions on the duty to and render aid. However, agent drove his vehicle (.6) of a mile further the highway from the point of the and did not return, even after he the fragments of glass on the rear of his While not overwhelming, this is of failure to comply with the Further evidence concerning the to stop and render aid was precluded by the court’s ruling that it be inadmissible since the issue was not by the pleadings. But, as Brooks clear, this issue is raised by a pleading of negligence in terms, and it was error to rule

[8] The failure to stop and render aid has a significance: (1) It may result in liability for the of injuries sustained in the accident or injuries incurred after it; (2) it may evidence of responsibility for the accident. [9] to stop and render aid is some of a consciousness of responsibility for the original regardless of post-collision injuries. v. E. J. Willig Truck Transp. Co. 40 Cal. 2d 669, 676; see 80 A.L.R.2d 299.) Alone, it is not to establish liability, but flight after an accident is a circumstance may be considered with other in the case as tending to show a of responsibility for the accident. An instruction the jury of this significance of the to stop and render aid would be proper. (Brooks v. E. J. Willig Transp. Co. supra, 40 Cal. 2d 676.)

Since the trial not only refused to instruct the on the duty to stop and render but also ruled that concerning it would be improper, was denied the opportunity to prove a of negligence which was properly by the pleadings.

[10] While the defendant maintains that its agent did not knowledge of the collision until he the [275 Cal. App. 2d truck and that it would been unsafe to return to the the validity of the excuse or justification for to comply with the statute a question of fact for the jury’s (Gallup v. Sparks Mundo Co. 43 Cal. 2d 1, 9 [271 P.2d

The order is affirmed.

McCabe, P. J. and J. pro tem. fn. * concurred.

FN 1. Formerly Code, section 480.

FN 2. Vehicle Code, section

FN *. Assigned by the Chairman of the Judicial

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