Elizabeth Boyer


Two recent cases decided by the Supreme Court in 1963 and 1964 are of considerable interest in relation to decisions involving wilful and wanton tort in Ohio since 1899. In the first of these two cases, Botto et al., Appellants, v. Fischesser,a Minor, et al., Appellees, decided in 1963, the Supreme Court overruled directed verdicts for the defendants in the trial court which had been sustained in the appellate court, and remanded the cases for jury trial with the comment that "the Guest Statute, being in derogation of common law, should not be extended beyond its reasonable limits. A court should exercise restraint in substituting its judgment for that of a jury and removing the case from the jury by directed verdict." This language seems to show a variance from the tone of the court in past years, when directed verdicts in wilful and wanton court cases have sometimes seemed to be the rule, rather than the exception, as will be illustrated by a review of applicable cases.

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