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Case Arising from Low-Speed Accident on Slick Road Results in Defense Verdict

Earlier this month, an Alaska appellate court was asked to reverse the decision of a lower court that had determined a jury’s verdict in favor of the defense was appropriate, given the facts of the case and the standard of review. Ultimately, in the case of Marshall v. Peter, the court did uphold the jury’s verdict.

Wet RoadOverturning a Jury’s Verdict Is a Difficult Task

When a party to a personal injury lawsuit doesn’t like the result of their trial, they can ask a higher court to review the lower court’s decision to see if the trial judge made a mistake. Depending on what a party is complaining of on appeal, there may be one or more standards of review that the appellate court will use to make its decision. One of the most difficult standards of review for a party to meet on appeal is that of overturning a jury’s verdict. In essence, an appellate court would have to determine that “no reasonable juror” could have decided the case in the way the jury did in order to reverse a jury’s verdict. A recent example of one plaintiff’s request for review is described below.

Marshall v. Peter:  The Facts

Marshall was stopped at a red light, and Peter was directly behind him, while both were waiting to make a turn. When Marshall started to pull off, Peter released his foot off the brake and began traveling behind him. However, Peter never pressed the gas. Marshall then stopped, surprising Peter. Peter tried to put his foot on the brake in time but slid on the icy pavement right into the back of Marshall.

Marshall filed a lawsuit against Peter, seeking over $200,000 in damages. A jury heard the case and ultimately determined that Peter was not negligent in the operation of his vehicle. The judge hearing the case then granted Peter’s request to be reimbursed for attorney’s fees, which amounted to about $60,000.

Marshall appealed, arguing that no reasonable juror could have determined that Peter did not act negligently in colliding with the rear of his car. However, the court disagreed, explaining that reasonable minds could differ regarding Peter’s liability. For example, Peter seemed to be aware of the icy conditions because he had previously come to a safe stop behind Marshall. The court continued by noting that there was no evidence that Peter didn’t see Marshall stop, only that he applied the brakes a little too late to complete the stop before running into the back of Marshall’s vehicle. Finally, the court seemed to consider the fact that Peter was only moving at about three miles per hour at the time of the collision.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Georgia rear-end collision, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the seriousness of the accident and your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured. Call the skilled personal injury attorneys at Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 to discuss your case and get a free case evaluation.

More Blog Posts:

Photographic Evidence of Uneven Sidewalk Taken 30 Days after Injury Deemed Insufficient to Raise Question of Liability, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2016.

The Importance of Instrument Sterilization During Medical Procedures, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 6, 2016.