Before Prather, C.j., Roberts And Mills, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roberts, Justice, For The Court:
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/10/97
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES E. GRAVES, JR.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY
¶1. Phillip Brown filed suit individually, and on behalf of the heirs of Willie Brown, deceased (hereinafter "Brown"), on March 16, 1994, against the City of Jackson (hereinafter "City"), Mississippi as a result of the death of his father, Willie Brown, by drowning in a tributary to a town creek located in the vicinity of Pleasant Avenue in the City of Jackson, Mississippi. The date of the decedent's death was May 1, 1993.
¶2. The City of Jackson filed its Motion for Dismissal or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment. The court entered its order granting partial summary judgment to the defendant for the negligence of the personnel of the City of Jackson Fire Department and Police Department for negligently failing to rescue the decedent, Willie Brown. The court further found that the maintenance of streets was a proprietary function and refused to dismiss as to the City of Jackson on the issue of street maintenance, including placement of guardrails. Thereafter, and prior to trial, the City reurged its Motion to Reconsider the Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment once again raising the issue of sovereign immunity. The court overruled the Motion to Reconsider the sovereign immunity issue.
¶3. The case proceded to be tried to a jury commencing January 6, 1997. At the close of Brown's case, the City's Motion for a Directed Verdict which re-urged the sovereign immunity issue was denied.
¶4. At the Conclusion of the trial, the jury found in favor of Brown and returned its verdict with judgment entered thereon in the amount of $1,312,500.00. Thereafter, the City filed its Motion J.N.O.V. or for a new trial. The court denied said motions. The City then filed its Motion for Relief of Judgment which the court later denied. The City filed its Notice of Appeal raising the following issues:
I. WHETHER THE CITY OF JACKSON IS IMMUNE FROM THE PRESENT ACTION?
II. WHETHER THE JURY INSTRUCTIONS AS GIVEN WERE CONFUSING, DID NOT REFLECT THE LAW, AND WERE HIGHLY PREJUDICIAL TO THE CITY, THUS CAUSING AN INJUSTICE?
III. WHETHER THE COURT ERRED IN NOT ALLOWING THE CORONER'S REPORT TO BE INTRODUCED UNDER RULE 803 OF THE MISSISSIPPI RULES OF EVIDENCE?
IV. WHETHER THE COURT ERRED IN EXCLUDING THE TESTIMONY OF MIKE WEAVER, TOXICOLOGIST?
V. WHETHER THE COURT ERRED IN ALLOWING TESTIMONY REGARDING THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION OF A GUARDRAIL OVER THE OBJECTION OF THE CITY?
VI. WHETHER THE AMOUNT OF THE DAMAGE AWARD WAS SO EXCESSIVE AS TO SHOCK THE CONSCIENCE AND REFLECT A BIAS AND PREJUDICE ON THE ...