Washington Law Review




As defendant Moss's daughter was driving downhill in an automobile owned by Moss for use in the family's construction business, the brakes failed suddenly and the car ran into a telephone pole. Plaintiffs, riding as guests of the daughter, sustained severe injuries. The resulting suit was brought against Ford Motor Company (the manufacturer of the automobile), Moss's mechanic (who had relined the brakes several weeks prior to the accident), and Moss. Moss denied negligence and asserted the Washington Guest Statute as a further bar to liability. At the conclusion of plaintiffs' case the defendants moved for dismissal on the grounds that plaintiffs' evidence failed to make out a prima facie case. The trial court granted the motion as to each defendant except Ford, but subsequently held the dismissal erroneous and entered an order granting a new trial. On appeal, Moss challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and again asserted the host-guest statute as a defense. Affirming, the Washington Court of Appeals held: the host-guest statute does not bar recovery against a nondriving owner for injuries received by passengers while riding as guests of the owner's minor child. Hansel v. Ford Motor Co., 3 Wn. App. 151, 473 P.2d 219 (1970).

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