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Baxter v. Fugett

425 P.2d 462 (1967)

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Baxter v. Fugett

Oklahoma Supreme Court

425 P.2d 462 (1967)

Facts

Robert Baxter, 12, (plaintiff) was riding a bicycle on a through street when William M. Fugett, 16, (defendant) approached from a side street in his car, heading west. Fugett, who had a stop sign, came to a full stop, observed Baxter about 50 feet away, then pulled out into the intersection. Baxter ran into the driver’s side of Fugett’s car with his bicycle and was injured. Baxter sued Fugett for negligence for failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to yield the right of way. Fugett claimed that Baxter was contributorily negligent. The court instructed the jurors that when considering whether Baxter and Fugett used ordinary care, they should apply the standard of care ordinarily exercised by children 12 and 16 years old and that neither should be judged by the standard of care of an adult. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Fugett, and judgment was entered accordingly. Baxter appealed and argued that the jury was improperly instructed because it permits a minor to engage in adult activities that expose others to hazards but only imposes a child’s standard of care when a minor is the actor.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McInerney, J.)

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