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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Ray Gore lost control of his vehicle while driving in a heavy rainstorm on the Interstate 10 bridge over the San Jacinto River. Candy Gore testified that before the incident, it was raining heavily and she had asked Ray to slow down once or twice because “he wasn’t driving safe enough for me.” When they entered the freeway the vehicle “fishtailed,” and she told Ray to “watch it.” The accident occurred approximately eight exits later. While they were on the bridge, “he’d started fishtailing . . . we hit the wall on the left side; we hit it twice. And then after we hit the wall the second time he started spinning backwards across the freeway, and we ended up hitting the wall on the right side, rear end up.” There was no evidence showing how fast they were driving at the time of the accident. There was no evidence regarding why Ray lost control of the vehicle at the moment he did, such as whether the vehicle lost traction due to water on the road or because the wheel struck an obstacle or excavation in the road. Ray did not personally appear at the jury trial but appeared through counsel. At the close of evidence, the trial court directed a verdict on liability for plaintiff Candy and submitted only damages to the jury. The jury returned a verdict of $6,000 for physical pain and mental anguish sustained in the past, awarded nothing for future physical pain and mental anguish, awarded $42,000 for physical impairment in the past and $125,000 for physical impairment in the future. When the jury returned a verdict that stated “actual damages” on the space provided for medical expenses, the trial court supplied its own finding of $8,279.69. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. In three issues, Ray challenged the directed verdict and the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury’s awards for past and future impairment, and he also contended that the trial court erred in supplying its own finding of medical expenses to complete the jury’s incomplete verdict. A plaintiff, the court stated, is entitled to a directed verdict when reasonable minds can draw only one conclusion from the evidence. Candy contended that the evidence established negligence per se, because she pleaded that Ray violated Texas Transportation Code ��545.060 and 545.351. To be sufficient to uphold the directed verdict, the court stated that the evidence must establish conclusively that Ray was not driving with ordinary care. The fact that Ray lost control of the vehicle and struck the wall, the court stated, is probative evidence that he was not driving safely but does not establish conclusively that he was driving unsafely. A rational jury, the court stated, could find that the plaintiff failed to prove that the speed of the vehicle caused the accident. A rational jury could also find that Ray failed to maintain a single lane, because the vehicle lost traction when it hit water on the road, not because Ray failed to exercise ordinary care while driving on the highway during a rainstorm. Candy, the court further stated, provided very little detail in her testimony. Although Ray did not cross-examine Candy about the details of the accident, Candy’s testimony on direct is not otherwise clear and unequivocal as regards to the cause of the accident. She did not describe Ray’s actions at the moment of the accident, state the speed of the vehicle at any time, or describe any corrective or evasive action that Ray could have implemented to avoid the accident. Other than the fact that a single-vehicle accident occurred in which the vehicle Ray was driving struck both sides of the bridge, the court found Candy’s opinion that Ray was driving too fast to be completely uncorroborated. The mere fact that Ray lost control of the vehicle, the court stated, does not conclusively establish that he was not exercising ordinary care. Thus, the court held that the trial court erred in directing a verdict for the plaintiff. OPINION:McKeithen, J.; McKeithen, C.J., and Gaultney and Kreger, JJ.

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