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.

Stafford v. Canedy

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 12, 2019

RONALD D. STAFFORD AND TAMELA S. STAFFORD APPELLANTS
v.
JAMES R. CANEDY, VANCE BROTHERS, INC. AND ATLANTIC SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/31/2018

          PEARL RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. PRENTISS GREENE HARRELL TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS: MARYANNA PENTON JAMES COLLIN MALEY

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: LAWRENCE ELDER HAHN JAMES D. HOLLAND ROBERT O. ALLEN JAMES HENDERSON HALL JESSICA SUSAN MALONE

          BEFORE BARNES, C.J., McCARTY AND C. WILSON, JJ.

          McCARTY, J.

         ¶1. This case concerns a car accident that aggravated injuries Ronald D. Stafford had suffered in a previous car accident. Stafford filed suit regarding the first accident and, after the action was removed to a federal district court, was awarded damages. He filed suit regarding the second accident in circuit court. The defendants argued judicial estoppel applied to bar Stafford's recovery in the second suit. The circuit court agreed and granted summary judgment for the defendants. Finding judicial estoppel does not apply and summary judgment was erroneously granted, we reverse and remand.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. In 2012, Stafford was injured in a car accident. Two years later, he was injured in another car accident. Stafford was rear-ended in both accidents.

         ¶3. He filed suit in 2015 against several defendants, seeking damages resulting from the first accident. The case was removed to federal court. After a jury trial, Stafford was awarded approximately $1.2 million in economic and noneconomic damages. The defendants filed posttrial motions arguing that because the jury was aware of the second accident, it must have compensated Stafford for the injuries he sustained in both accidents. ¶4. The district court denied the defendants' posttrial motions, finding the jury was instructed "that it could not award any damages caused by the second accident." Stafford v. Gov't Emps. Ins. Co., No. 1:15cv414, 2018 WL 736042, at *4 (S.D.Miss. Feb. 6, 2018). The district court also noted that defense counsel reminded the jury during closing arguments that it was "not to award any damages for whatever happened to [Stafford] in the July 2014 accident." Id. The defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed the judgment. Stafford v. Lamorak Ins. Co., 754 Fed.Appx. 241 (5th Cir. 2018).

         ¶5. Seeking damages from the second accident, Stafford filed suit in 2017 in the Pearl River County Circuit Court against James R. Canedy, Vance Brothers Inc., and Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. (collectively Canedy). The complaint alleged Stafford suffered aggravation of his preexisting injuries as well as new spinal injuries. Stafford's complaint also included a loss-of-consortium claim by his wife, Tamela.

         ¶6. Vance Brothers filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that Stafford's claims were barred by judicial estoppel. After a hearing, the trial court granted the motion. Stafford now appeals, arguing that judicial estoppel does not apply and that the trial court therefore erred in granting the motion for summary judgment.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶7. Our "analysis requires [us] to use the abuse of discretion standard to review the trial court's determination that judicial estoppel is or is not applicable." Adams v. Graceland Care Ctr. of Oxford LLC, 208 So.3d 575, 580 (ΒΆ12) (Miss. 2017). After that, we "use the de novo standard to ...


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.