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Jack Gray Transport Inc. v. Taylor

June 25, 1998

JACK GRAY TRANSPORT, INC. AND ROBERT G. MCCOMAS, JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY
v.
LOIS TAYLOR AND JOE TAYLOR



Prather, P.j., Sullivan, P.j., Banks, McRAE, Roberts, Mills And Waller, JJ., Concur. Pittman, P.j., Not Participating.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Smith, Justice, For The Court:

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/22/94

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BARRY W. FORD

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MONROE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: TOM P. CALHOUN

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: W. HOWARD GUNN

RALPH E. POGUE

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

EN BANC.

¶1. Lois Taylor and Joe Taylor filed their personal injury action in 1990 against Jack Gray Transport and Robert G. McComas, after a truck driven by McComas ran into the back of a car in which Lois Taylor was a passenger. After a jury trial in March and April of 1994 solely on damages, the jury returned a verdict of $67,000 in favor of Lois Taylor, with no award returned for Joe Taylor. The trial court reduced the judgment by $10,000 based on a previous settlement with a co-defendant. The trial court subsequently granted the Taylors an additur of $140,000. Jack Gray Transport and McComas appealed. The appeal was assigned to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the additur and reinstated the original jury verdict by a vote of 7-3. We granted the petition for writ of certiorari filed by Lois and Jack Taylor, and after consideration find that the judgment of the circuit court, including the additur, should be reinstated.

I.

¶2. On December 8, 1987, Lois Taylor, a passenger in the front seat of Hattie Henderson's car, was injured when Robert McComas, a driver with Jack Gray Transport, hit the car from behind. Taylor and her husband Joe filed suit in September 1990 in Clay County Circuit Court. The case was eventually transferred to Monroe County when the claim against Henderson was settled for $10,000. In April 1994 the matter was tried solely on the issue of damages. After trial the jury returned a verdict of $67,000 for Lois Taylor and nothing for Joe Taylor on his loss of consortium claim. The circuit court reduced the award by the $10,000 which had previously been paid in settlement. The circuit court then granted an additur of $140,000. Jack Gray Transport appealed and the Taylors cross-appealed.

ΒΆ3. The Court of Appeals recited the accepted case law on the subject and found that the jury had acted within its authority in accepting or rejecting medical and expert testimony. It found that there was "no rational basis to conclude that this resolution of conflicting evidence was the result of anything other than proper jury deliberation." The Court of Appeals found that the circuit court's ...


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