Court: Utah Supreme Court
Citation: 2021 UT 31
Opinion Date: July 15, 2021
Areas of Law: Personal Injury
The Supreme Court reversed the district court granting Defendant’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law and vacating the jury’s general damages verdict in favor of Plaintiff on her negligence claim, holding that the district court erred.
Plaintiff’s vehicle was hit by a truck by a driver that worked for Geneva Rock. Plaintiff sued the driver and Geneva Rock, alleging that the driver’s negligence caused the crash and that Geneva Rock had negligently employed the driver. Geneva Rock conceded that its driver was at fault for the collision. After Plaintiff rested her case-in-chief during a trial on the issue of damages, the court ruled that the jury could not award special damages to Plaintiff for lack of sufficient evidence. The jury returned a general damages verdict of $30,000. The district court vacated the jury’s verdict, concluding that Plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of Utah Code 31A-22-309. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding (1) Plaintiff was entitled to ask the jury to award special damages; and (2) the district court improperly excluded evidence of Geneva Rock’s negligent hiring practices.
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