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Spracklin v. Spracklin

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

September 10, 2013

Faye Spracklin, appellant,
v.
Gordon E. Spracklin, Personal Representative of the Estate of Eugene G. Spracklin, appellee.

1. Summary Judgment: Appeal and Error. In reviewing a summary judgment, an appellate court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom the judgment is granted and gives such party the benefit of all reasonable inferences deducible from the evidence.

2. Summary Judgment. Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings, depositions, admissions, stipulations, and affidavits in the record disclose that there is no genuine issue of material fact or as to the ultimate inferences that may be drawn from those facts and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

3. Statutes: Appeal and Error. Statutory interpretation is a matter of law in connection with which an appellate court has an obligation to reach an independent, correct conclusion irrespective of the determination made by the court below.

4. Motor Vehicles: Words and Phrases. The term "affinity, " as it is used in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21, 237 (Reissue 2008), is defined as the relationship which arises as a result of the marriage contract between one spouse and the blood relations of the other.

5. Motor Vehicles. Pursuant to the language of Neb Rev. Stat. § 25-21, 237 (Reissue 2008), a driver who is the father-in-law of his passenger is related to the passenger within the second degree of affinity.

6. Statutes. In construing the meaning of a statute, a court must examine the statutory section as a whole, rather than focusing on individual, separate parts of the statute.

Appeal from the District Court for Douglas County: Kimberly Miller Pankonin, Judge. Affirmed.

Ralph E. Peppard, of Peppard Law Office, for appellant.

Thomas A. Grennan and Abbie M. Schurman, of Gross & Welch, PC, L.L.O., for appellee.

Inbody, Chief Judge, and Irwin and Moore, Judges.

Irwin, Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Faye Spracklin appeals an order of the district court for Douglas County, Nebraska, granting summary judgment to Gordon E. Spracklin, the personal representative of the estate [21 Neb.App. 272] of Eugene G. Spracklin, deceased. In granting summary judgment, the court determined that Faye's negligence suit, which arose from an automobile accident involving Faye and Eugene, was barred as a matter of law by the Motor Vehicle Guest Statute, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21, 237 (Reissue 2008). We find no error in the court's determination, and we affirm.

II. BACKGROUND

The facts in this case are undisputed. On September 15, 2009, Faye was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Eugene when the vehicle was involved in an accident. Faye suffered injuries in the automobile accident. At the time of the accident, Faye was married to Gordon, Eugene's son, ...


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