Jan. 25, 2013
A ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court issued earlier this week did away with a state law known as the sudden emergency doctrine. Court documents show that the decision in Bedor vs. Johnson was reached after the court found that instructing a jury on the law may be confusing and misleading.
The sudden emergency doctrine states that an individual put in a sudden or unexpected situation may not act as they would under normal circumstances. The law came into question following an accident between two vehicles that occurred on Jan. 16, 2004.
The accident happened when a vehicle driven by the defendant hit an icy patch on a road outside of Telluride, Colorado. This caused his vehicle to spin out of control and into the oncoming lane of traffic, where it then collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle. Both men were injured as a result of the accident.
The plaintiff filed a Colorado Auto Accident lawsuit alleging the defendant acted negligently. However, during the trial, the defendant asked the jury to be instructed on the sudden emergency doctrine. He stated that he was not responsible for the patch of ice in the road. A jury found in favor of the defendant, but the decision was overturned since the Court of Appeals felt the defendant should have known of the possibility of icy conditions and ordered a retrial in the case.
The Pueblo Personal Injury Lawyers with the McDivitt Law Firm hope a decision in the case will bring a sense of closure to all the parties involved.