Hollywood leading man Gable was defendant in 1950s case in Pima County

2013-08-22T11:18:00Z Hollywood leading man Gable was defendant in 1950s case in Pima CountyPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Recently, Pima County Superior Court manager of research and statistics, Andrew Dowdle, dug out a 1950s case file involving one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

The famed leading man Clark Gable was the defendant in a civil lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court.

On Dec. 7, 1951, Gable crashed his 1952 Cadillac convertible into a car driven by Mary Lemme.

In Lemme’s complaint, filed in April 1952, she says she was driving “in a southeasterly direction on State Highway No. 84 near Tucson,” when Gable, driving in the opposite direction, crossed the highway in a “reckless, negligent, careless and unlawful manner” crashing into her car.

Lemme asked for a judgment of $20,000 for damages, injuries and lost wages.

Tucson lawyer Arthur Tannenbaum of the firm Tannenbaum and Tannenbaum handed the case.

The firm Darnell, Robertson, Holesapple and Spaid represented Gable, who fought the case through trial.

A nine-person jury found in favor of Lemme on Jan. 8, 1954, awarding her $4,000.

A Tucson man named William Amour also involved in the car crash filed a related case against Gable around the same time. The judge dismissed that case with prejudice in June 1953.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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