Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Edith Risinger was driving on a street in Center when she slowed and stopped for traffic to pass, so that she could make a left turn. While she waited, a truck driven by Allen Shuemaker for Covington Lumber Co. rear-ended Risinger’s car, propelling it several feet. Risinger complained immediately of neck and arm pain. Later, after seeking continued treatment, Risinger underwent two surgeries to fuse three of her cervical vertebrae. Risinger and her husband sued Shuemaker and Covington Lumber for negligence. The case went to trial, and the jury was asked, “Did the negligence, if any, of Allen Shuemaker proximately cause the injury to the plaintiff[.]” The jury answered “ no,” and a take-nothing judgment was entered for Shuemaker. Risinger raises two issues on appeal: 1. that the trial court erred by allowing Dr. Fabian Polo, a biomedical engineer, to testify that the collision did not medically cause any of Risinger’s injuries; and 2. that a new trial should have been granted because the great weight of the evidence of Shuemaker’s negligence was overwhelming. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court finds that in an automobile accident such as this, the plaintiff must establish both a causal nexus between the defendant’s conduct and the event, and between the event and the plaintiff’s injuries. The court assumes from the jury’s answer to the Shuemaker negligence question that the jury first found that Shuemaker was not negligent. Accordingly, the court determines that it must first address Risinger’s second issue: whether the evidence is factually sufficient to support the jury’s finding that Shuemaker was not negligent. If so, then the court does not have to discuss Risinger’s first issue — about Polo’s testimony — because this testimony addresses the causation-of-damages aspect of the case. The court thus conducts a factual sufficiency review of the evidence. The court notes that there was evidence from witnesses, Risinger and Shuemaker, that there were bicyclists on the shoulder of Risinger’s lane, right in the way of where Shuemaker was going to drive to go around Risinger’s car. “Although there was sufficient evidence to support a jury finding that Shuemaker was negligent on the day in question by failing to keep a proper lookout or driving inattentively, the evidence also supports the finding that he was not negligent. Shuemaker testified that when he started to pass Mrs. Risinger, he saw the boys riding on bicycles coming toward him, so he steered back into the lane because he did not want to hit the children. He testified that he could have stopped in time if he”had a couple more foot.’ The jury chose to believe Shuemaker’s version of the events that occurred prior to the collision and determined that he did not fail to use ordinary care under the same or similar circumstances. Although we may disagree with the jury’s conclusion, based on this record, we are not free to disregard their conclusion.” OPINION:Griffith, J.; Worthen, C.J., Griffith and DeVasto, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.