ADTA Member Tom Buckeley Gets New Trial Ruling


ADTA Member Tom Buckley Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, Raleigh, NC  Gets New Trial Ruling from Court of Appeals
The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently granted a new trial to Tom’s client in a two plaintiff bicycle injury case.  The plaintiffs were injured when they hit a communications cable that had fallen across a road in a storm.  The jury verdict came after the jury was instructed, among other things, that the doctrine of sudden emergency applied to their conduct; the defense had argued that their conduct constituted contributory negligence (a complete bar to recovery in NC).  Sudden emergency allows a lower standard of conduct to a party confronted, through no fault of their own, to actions taken in response to a sudden emergency.  The court found that the instruction had been improperly and prejudicially given, rejecting the plaintiffs’ arguments that the cable (which they alleged had been I the road for hours) constituted a sudden emergency. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment and ordered a new trail of the action. 

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