Bodzek v. Callahan, 43973

Decision Date21 May 1982
Docket NumberNo. 43973,43973
Citation211 Neb. 600,319 N.W.2d 721
PartiesMarie BODZEK, Appellee, v. David W. CALLAHAN, Harvey Callahan, and Marianne Callahan, Appellants.
CourtNebraska Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. Judgments: Appeal and Error. Where a party has sustained the burden and expense of trial and has succeeded in securing the judgment of a jury on the facts in issue, he has the right to keep the benefit of that verdict unless there is prejudicial error in the proceedings by which it was secured.

2. Trial: Appeal and Error. A party may not complain of misconduct of counsel if, with knowledge of such misconduct, he does not ask for a mistrial but consents to take the chance of a favorable verdict.

Ray C. Simmons, P.C., Fremont, for appellants.

No appearance for appellee.

Heard before KRIVOSHA, C. J., WHITE, and CAPORALE, JJ., and MURPHY and WHITEHEAD, District Judges.

MURPHY, District Judge.

This is an action brought by the plaintiff, Marie Bodzek, for personal injuries resulting from an automobile collision with the defendant David W. Callahan. The defendants admitted liability but denied that the plaintiff was injured. After trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendants. In granting plaintiff's motion for a new trial, the trial court found "that there were irregularities in the proceedings by the prevailing party which prevented the plaintiff from having a fair trial." The defendants appeal from the order setting aside the judgment for the defendants and granting the plaintiff a new trial.

Counsel for the plaintiff did not file a brief or appear for argument.

Although there is nothing in the record to indicate the nature of the "irregularities" the trial court referred to in ruling on the plaintiff's motion for a new trial, a review of the entire record leads to the conclusion that the trial court was concerned with a prior accident in 1968, at which time the defendants' attorney represented the plaintiff.

During direct examination of the plaintiff, her attorney elicited testimony about injuries she received in the 1968 accident.

On cross-examination of the plaintiff, the attorney for the defendants asked the following questions, and the plaintiff gave the following answers: "Q. Now, Mrs. Bodzek, this morning you were asked about this accident you had in 1968, with the redimix [sic] truck, do you recall that? A. What? Q. When you had your accident in 1968 with the Arp's truck? A. Yes, sir. Q. Any my notes here are that your attorney asked you what your injuries were in that accident and you said your forearm was hurt and you had general soreness? A. Yes, sir, you were my attorney. Q. Was that your answer though, this morning? A. I said I had general body soreness and general body strain and contusions of the right forearm. Q. That's what you said this morning? A. Yes, sir."

The defendants' attorney then went on to question the plaintiff about further injuries resulting from the 1968 collision as reflected in her petition and deposition filed subsequent to that collision.

After the plaintiff had rested, the trial court held a conference with counsel for the parties, at which time the court inquired if there would be a problem about the prior representation of the plaintiff by the attorney for the defendants.

At this conference it was brought out that the plaintiff had revealed the 1968 accident, her injuries, and hospitalization in answers to interrogatories prior to trial. The plaintiff's attorney also admitted that he was aware of the plaintiff's representation by the defendants' attorney in the prior accident. The court then invited the plaintiff's attorney to take whatever action he deemed necessary at that time by reason of the prior...

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 cases
  • Wolfe v. Abraham
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • October 15, 1993
    ...has occurred. Kumar v. Douglas County, supra; Bentz v. Nebraska P.P. Dist., 211 Neb. 844, 320 N.W.2d 763 (1982); Bodzek v. Callahan, 211 Neb. 600, 319 N.W.2d 721 (1982); Law v. Gilmore, 171 Neb. 112, 105 N.W.2d 595 (1960). We have also observed that a motion for new trial is to be entertain......
  • Cam's Broadloom Rugs, Inc. v. Buck
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1990
    ...7 Haw.App. 136, 748 P.2d 816 (1988); Springer v. County of Allegheny, 401 Pa. 557, 165 A.2d 383 (1960). In Bodzek v. Callahan, 211 Neb. 600, 319 N.W.2d 721, 722 (1982), the trial court invited plaintiff's counsel to request a mistrial and he elected not to do so. Regardless, the trial court......
  • Butorac Through Maggart v. Dixon County, 87-595
    • United States
    • Nebraska Supreme Court
    • June 23, 1989 keep the benefit of that judgment unless there is prejudicial error in the proceedings by which it was secured. Bodzek v. Callahan, 211 Neb. 600, 319 N.W.2d 721 (1982). The plaintiff has failed to show prejudicial error. Therefore, we choose to give the order the effect of a judgment on ......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT