Substantial Evidence Supports Jury Verdict That Defendant Was Negligent, But Not a Cause of Damages

Posted on: November 4th, 2015

This negligence case arose out of an injury Plaintiff sustained while riding a moped in the early morning hours.  Plaintiff collided into an end loader parked in the street by Defendant Simpson.  Plaintiff sustained a serious head injury as a result of the accident.  After an issue with failure to follow jury instructions at the first trial, a second trial was held in October 2013.  This trial consisted of multiple witnesses, including competing experts on accident investigation and reconstruction.  This jury found Defendant Simpson had acted negligently, but that Simpson’s negligence did not cause any damage to the Plaintiff.  Plaintiff moved for a new trial.  The district court denied the motion and Plaintiff appealed.  The Iowa Court of Appeals held that substantial evidence did not support the verdict and remanded the case for another trial.  Simpson sought further review.  The Iowa Supreme Court vacated the Iowa Court of Appeals decision and upheld the judgment.  It found the verdict was supported by substantial evidence as a reasonable jury could have found that Plaintiff’s conduct was the sole cause of his damages.  It further held that the jury’s answers to the verdict interrogatories were not inconsistent, the district court did not err in denying Plaintiff’s motion for directed verdict at trial, and the district could did not abuse its discretion in finding the verdict effected substantial justice.  See Derek Crow v. Edwin E. Simpson, Individually and d/b/a Simpson Trucking and Excavating.

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