Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McLaughlin v. North Drew Freight, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 12, 2018

DAVID MCLAUGHLIN APPELLANT
v.
NORTH DREW FREIGHT, INC. APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 02/02/2016

          SUNFLOWER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. RICHARD A. SMITH

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: REBECCA HILLIARD HUTCHINS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: JAMIE D. TRAVIS

          BEFORE CARLTON, P.J., FAIR AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          FAIR, J.

         ¶1. David McLaughlin was making a left turn when he was struck by an 18-wheeler attempting to pass him from behind. McLaughlin claimed that he suffered damages from the accident in the amount of $591, 000, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. After trial, the jury found McLaughlin comparatively negligent and returned a verdict of $1, 400, solely for his medical expenses incurred on the day of the accident. McLaughlin appealed, raising issues about his liability and the amount of damages awarded. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         FACTS

         ¶2. In September 2010, McLaughlin was driving Darrel Romero home. Leroy Washington, [1] the driver of an 18-wheel North Drew Freight truck, attempted to pass McLaughlin on a two-lane highway in rural northwest Mississippi. When questioned by police, Washington stated that McLaughlin slowed and sped back up several times before abruptly turning left in front of him, failing to give a left turn signal. The 18-wheeler struck the side of McLaughlin's car and pushed the car approximately 150 feet into a shallow ditch on the west side of the highway.

         ¶3. After the accident, both law enforcement and emergency medical technicians (EMT) arrived at the scene. State Trooper Jason Sheffield saw beer in the car and smelled alcohol on McLaughlin's breath. He asked McLaughlin whether he had been drinking. McLaughlin said no. Trooper Sheffield then performed three separate roadside breathalyzer tests which showed that McLaughlin was below .02 each time. He also performed a field sobriety test.[2]¶4. EMT Charles Carouthers also claimed he smelled alcohol and observed beer in McLaughlin's car. When he asked McLaughlin whether he had been drinking, McLaughlin said he "took a sip" of a friend's beer before driving. Carouthers also asked McLaughlin if he would like to ride in the ambulance to the hospital. McLaughlin initially declined but later changed his mind and agreed to be transported to the emergency room.

         ¶5. At the time of the accident, McLaughlin worked as a pipe-welding inspector on a contract basis for a commercial construction company. He was no longer employed at the time of trial. McLaughlin testified that he had been expecting to sign a new contract for a job in South Carolina starting the next week. He offered evidence that he earned $43, 816 in 2009 and $42, 816 in 2010. McLaughlin claimed damages for lost wages in the amount of $60, 000, including lost fringe benefits, medical insurance, and a payment of $70 a day.

         ¶6. After the accident, McLaughlin was treated by several physicians. McLaughlin provided deposition testimony from one in particular - Dr. Dinesh Goel, a family practitioner and general surgeon. Dr. Goel testified that McLaughlin suffered injury to the neck, back, and shoulder as a result of the accident and would possibly require treatment for the rest of his life. He also testified that McLaughlin suffered a permanent 5% reduction in physical capacity as a result of the injuries. McLaughlin offered into evidence all of his medical bills, totaling $23, 306.20.

         ¶7. Ultimately, the jury found that each party was 50% negligent, and it found McLaughlin had suffered $1, 400 in damages (the medical expenses incurred on the day of the accident) and rendered a verdict in his favor in that amount. McLaughlin moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV), which the court denied. McLaughlin now appeals asserting that the jury's award was against the overwhelming weight of the evidence and that the jury instructions were unclear.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶8. A circuit court's refusal to grant a new trial is reviewed for abuse of discretion. BobbyKitchens Inc. v. Miss. Ins. Guar. Ass'n, 560 So.2d 129, 132 (Miss. 1989). In determining whether a verdict is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence, this Court must view all evidence in the light most consistent with the jury ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.