Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Court reviews jury verdict for hunting accident case involving claims of emotional distress

BOBBY GERALD RILEY ET. AL v. JAMES ORR (Tenn. Ct. App. April 20, 2010)

This is an appeal of a jury verdict. The plaintiff was hunting with his son. The defendant was also hunting in the general area, and accidentally shot the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendant for negligence, and included a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress on behalf of his son. The parties stipulated as to the defendant's liability, and a jury trial was held on the issue of damages.

The jury instructions included instructions on the plaintiff father's mental pain and suffering and the son's emotional injury, but did not separately address the plaintiff father's emotional injury. After deliberating, the jury returned a verdict awarding damages to the plaintiff father as well as an award for the son's emotional injury. The trial court denied the defendant's motion for a new trial and approved the verdict. The defendant now appeals. On appeal, the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the verdict on several elements of damages, and argues that the inconsistency in the jury instructions on emotional injury necessitates a new trial. We affirm in part, vacate in part, suggest remittitur as to the award for future medical expenses, and remand for further proceedings.

Opinion may be found at:

No comments:

Post a Comment