MICHAEL BOWERS, REBECCA LYNN BOWERS, AND CODY GARRETT BOWERS APPELLANTS
MARCUS L. McINTIRE AND GAVIN McINTIRE, A MINOR APPELLEES
OF JUDGMENT: 09/28/2018
MADISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. JOHN HUEY EMFINGER JUDGE
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS: GEORGE McDOWELL YODER III
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: SAM STARNES THOMAS
BARNES, C.J., McCARTY AND C. WILSON, JJ.
Michael (Mike) Bowers, Rebecca Bowers, and Cody Bowers
(collectively "the Bowerses") filed a civil
complaint in Madison County Circuit Court against George
Stephenson, Barrett Adams, Marcus McIntire, Gavin McIntire,
and several unnamed defendants, stemming from a violent
confrontation between George and Mike that caused serious
injury to Mike. The complaint alleged, among other claims,
negligence and gross negligence against Marcus and Gavin.
After the Bowerses failed to respond to the McIntires'
discovery requests, the McIntires filed a motion for summary
judgment, arguing they owed no legal duty to the Bowerses.
The court granted the motion for summary judgment on May 28,
2018, noting the Bowerses' failure to comply with the
court's order regarding discovery and motion deadlines.
The Bowerses filed a motion to reconsider and a motion for a
continuance to conduct additional discovery. After a motions
hearing, the court stated that it had fully considered the
merits of the action and had determined that the Bowerses
failed to provide sufficient evidence that the McIntires owed
a legal duty to the Bowerses. Thus, the circuit court
dismissed the Bowerses' complaint with prejudice. The
Bowerses appeal the court's decision. Finding no error,
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On September 20, 2015, in Madison County, Mississippi, Mike,
Rebecca, and their son, Cody, were removing a boat from Twin
Harbors Marina. Gavin and Barrett, minors, were playing loud
music nearby. Mike and Cody had a heated verbal exchange with
the two boys about turning the music volume down. Gavin and
Barrett reported the verbal exchange to their respective
parents, Marcus and George. Marcus drove himself, George,
Gavin, and Barrett to the Bowerses' home, where George
confronted Mike and Cody. It is disputed whether Mike
escalated the confrontation by brandishing a firearm.
Regardless, George directed Barrett to retrieve a .45-caliber
semi-automatic pistol from Marcus's vehicle, and George
shot Mike twice at close range, injuring him.
On September 12, 2016, the Bowerses filed a complaint against
George, Barrett, Marcus, Gavin, and John Does 1-10, alleging
several causes of action. For the purposes of this appeal, we
will only address the negligence claims asserted against the
appellees, the McIntires. The Bowerses' complaint alleged
the Mclntires owed them the following legal duties:
A. Exercising reasonable, prudent discretion with an
independent, civilian, private investigation of alleged
relevant facts and circumstances;
B. Exercising reasonable, prudent discretion by contacting
law enforcement authorities for an investigation request
concerning any probable cause or suspected violations of
C. Exercising reasonable, prudent discretion in the
transportation of individuals, including George Willis
Stephenson, to the [Bowerses' residence];
D. Exercising reasonable, prudent discretion in the
transportation of angry, emotionally unstable individuals,
including George Willis Stephenson, to ...