(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this bus accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Although Chance’s ten-year-old car accident failed to illuminate any issue before the jury, the information did help assuage any pangs the juror’s consciences may otherwise have felt for leaving her disabled and confused for the rest of her life without compensation. When they learned, again over Plaintiff counsel’s objection, that Ms. Chance concealed/forgot a 10-year-old automobile accident during which she broke her leg without head trauma and that Ms. Chance was treated at that time under a different name, she was the subject of jury speculation as to her character for lying and fraud.
However, under the influence of the aforementioned improper and fatally prejudicial testimony, the jury was motivated to and the majority of them did ignore the courts instructions and failed to deliberate any evidence inculpating Defendant of negligence. The jury was charged as its first task to answer the special verdict question: Was Defendant Davie of USA negligent? Instead of taking the trouble to consider three days of testimony, photographic evidence and law provided them to answer that question, as juror Mike Brown’s declaration makes clear, the jury majority jumped to the question Was Molly Chance negligent? which required no time or thought at all based on their vivid recollection of Police Officer Smith’s opinion and their newly acquired negative predisposition to a lying, “cheating” Chance.
C. There is insufficient evidence to support the jury’s verdict. (C.C.P. section 657(6))
In Hendricks v. Pappas (App. 1947) 82 Cal.App.2d 774, 187 P.2d 436, the trial court granted the plaintiffs new trial motion following a jury trial involving an action against a motorist by a pedestrian for injuries sustained by the pedestrian when struck by automobile while he was crossing street.
It was a disputed question whether the pedestrian was crossing in a pedestrian lane or outside lane, and the evidence was sufficient to support a judgment for pedestrian had one been granted. The appellate court held that the trial court was authorized in granting pedestrian a new trial. (See Part 5 of 13.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.