Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Cotnam v. Wisdom

Supreme Court of Arkansas
104 S.W. 164 (1907)



The decedent, A.M. Harrison, was thrown from a street car and suffered serious injuries that rendered him unconscious. F.L. Wisdom and another surgeon (plaintiffs) were asked by a passerby to assist Harrison. They performed a complicated surgery to try to save his life, but he died without ever regaining consciousness. T.T. Cotnam (defendant), as administrator of Harrison’s estate, refused to pay Wisdom and the other surgeon for their services, claiming that Harrison, who was unconscious when the surgeons treated him, could not have assented to the treatment provided. The trial court instructed the jury that if the evidence showed that Wisdom and the other surgeon provided professional services to Harrison in an emergency context, then the estate should be found liable to plaintiffs for the reasonable value of those services, and that the jury could consider the ability of the decedent to pay in determining the reasonable charge for the professional services rendered. The jury found in favor of Wisdom and the other surgeon. Cotnam appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hill, C.J.)

Concurrence (Battle and Wood, J.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 499,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 499,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial