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Cent. Indus., Inc. v. McFarlane

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

February 24, 2015

CENTRAL INDUSTRIES, INC., ROGER LYNN GUY AND JIMMY R. MCCRORY, APPELLANTS
v.
GERALDINE MCFARLANE, APPELLEE

Page 611

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: SMITH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/19/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. EDDIE H. BOWEN. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL GRANTED.

FOR APPELLANTS: HEATH SHANNON DOUGLAS, ANDREW N. ALEXANDER III, MARK K. TULLOS.

FOR APPELLEE: EUGENE COURSEY TULLOS.

BEFORE GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES AND ISHEE, JJ. LEE, C.J., GRIFFIS, P.J., BARNES, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL AND FAIR, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION. IRVING, P.J., DISSENTS WITHOUT SEPARATE WRITTEN OPINION.

OPINION

Page 612

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

ISHEE, J.

¶1. This appeal is before this Court after a personal-injury trial and retrial in the Smith County Circuit Court. The first trial resulted in a $100,000 verdict against Defendants Roger Lynn Guy and Jimmy R. McCrory after a directed verdict was granted in favor of Central Industries Inc. The circuit court granted a motion for a new trial filed by Geraldine McFarlane, which resulted in a $250,000 verdict against Guy, McCrory, and Central Industries. Aggrieved, Guy, McCrory, and Central Industries filed the instant appeal alleging four issues: (1) whether the circuit court improperly granted McFarlane's motion for a new trial; (2) whether the circuit court erred in allowing the jury to consider McFarlane's hip injury in the second trial; (3) whether Central Industries was an improper party at the second trial; and (4) whether three jury instructions were improperly given at the second trial. Upon review of the record, this Court finds that McFarlane's motion for a new trial was improperly granted. We reverse, and reinstate the original $100,000 verdict rendered at the first trial.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶2. On May 18, 2006, McFarlane was driving on Highway 80 in Scott County, Mississippi. While waiting to make a left turn, she was struck from behind by Guy's truck, which was being driven by McCrory. Attached to Guy's truck was an empty trailer owned by Central Industries. This case first went to trial in April 2009. During the trial, a directed verdict was granted in favor of Central Industries dismissing it from the case, and Guy and McCrory admitted liability. After hearing the evidence at trial, the jury returned a $100,000 verdict in favor of McFarlane against Guy and McCrory.

¶3. In May 2009, McFarlane filed a motion for a new trial or, in the alternative, for an additur. In her motion, she alleged that the circuit court had erred in directing a verdict in favor of Central Industries and that the $100,000 jury verdict was not sufficient to cover her injuries and damages. The circuit court granted McFarlane's motion,[1] and the second jury

Page 613

trial took place in April 2012, resulting in a $250,000 verdict for McFarlane. In the second trial, Central Industries was not dismissed from the case. Guy, McCrory, and Central Industries filed this appeal, arguing that McFarlane's motion for a new trial should not have been granted and ...


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