Woodall v. Wayne Steffner Productions, Inc.
California Court of Appeal
20 Cal. Rptr. 572 (1962)
Alphonso Woodall (plaintiff) performed a stunt in which he sat on a kite attached to a moving boat or car and gave the impression of flying through the air. Woodall had done the stunt hundreds of times without suffering injury and could control every aspect of the kite’s flight except for the boat or car’s speed. Woodall required an experienced, qualified driver who could understand speed signals that Woodall gave during the stunt. It was important that the vehicle’s speed was reduced immediately upon the kite’s becoming airborne. It was also vital that the speed of the vehicle never go above 30 miles per hour. Wayne Steffner Productions, Inc. (Steffner) (defendant) hired Woodall to perform the stunt for a television show. Woodall informed Steffner that his primary requirement was to have a qualified driver. Woodall offered to bring his own driver, but Steffner assured him that it would provide an experienced, qualified driver to assist with the stunt. Steffner provided Jerome Welo (defendant) to do the driving for the stunt. Woodall gave Welo specific instructions and informed him of all requirements and signals necessary for a successful stunt, including the speed limit. In the performance of the stunt, Welo started too slowly, attempted to overcorrect, and eventually got up to speeds above 40 miles per hour, according to estimates of Woodall and an expert witness. As a result of the high speed, the kite crashed, and Woodall was seriously injured. Woodall brought a negligence suit against the defendants. The defendants argued that Woodall assumed the risk. The trial court found in favor of Woodall, and the defendants appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ashburn, J.)
What to do next…
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 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 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.