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Home / Courts / N.C. Court of Appeals Unpublished / Tort/Negligence – Auto Accident – Jury Instructions – Sudden Emergency Doctrine – Carpet in Road

Tort/Negligence – Auto Accident – Jury Instructions – Sudden Emergency Doctrine – Carpet in Road

Holding: Where an unsecured carpet flew out of the back of defendant’s truck, and where plaintiff swerved to avoid the carpet as it lay in the roadway, the trial court properly instructed the jury on the sudden emergency doctrine.

We find no error in the trial court’s jury instructions or its denial of defendant’s new trial motion.

Although the jury did ask for clarification on the sudden emergency doctrine, once the trial court further instructed the jury, the jury did not express any further questions or concerns about the law relating to the sudden emergency doctrine, and it was able to render a decision on that issue. Therefore, defendant did not show that the jury was misled or that the verdict was affected by the instruction. The trial court did not err by giving instructions on the sudden emergency doctrine because there was sufficient evidence to which this instruction applied, and it was for the jury to resolve any conflicts in this evidence.

Defendant asserts that plaintiff’s closing arguments were improper, prejudiced him, and resulted in an excessive verdict. The parties disagree about facts surrounding the closing arguments, especially the information plaintiff presented in a PowerPoint slide explaining plaintiff’s damages.

However, defendant did not request that the closing arguments be transcribed. Without a transcription, this court is not in a position to reverse the trial court’s denial of defendant’s N.C. R. Civ. P. 59 motion because the record does not demonstrate a manifest abuse of discretion.

No error.

Brown v. Cox (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-027-18, 10 pp.) (Philip Berger Jr., J.) Appealed from Guilford County Superior Court (James Gale, J.) Nekia Pridgen for plaintiff; James Hoffman and Spenser Tatum for defendant. N.C. App. Unpub.


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