Bowman v. Rutledge

Decision Date18 April 1979
Docket NumberNo. 51149,51149
Citation369 So.2d 768
PartiesWilliam Larry BOWMAN v. Roland S. RUTLEDGE.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

Mitchell, McNutt, Bush, Lagrone & Sams, William C. Murphree, Tupelo, for appellant.

Michael Malski, Amory, Gary L. Carnathan, Glen H. Davidson, Tupelo, for appellee.


LEE, Justice, for the Court:

Roland S. Rutledge obtained judgment against William Larry Bowman for thirty-five hundred dollars ($3,500) in the Circuit Court of Lee County for personal injuries. The trial court sustained a motion of Rutledge for new trial and Bowman has appealed from that order.

On July 14, 1976, appellee was proceeding east on U. S. Highway 78 (Lee County) in a van vehicle. A gravel truck driven by one Earnest Knight was following him. Appellee stopped his vehicle because of an obstruction ahead, Knight came to a halt behind him, and Bowman, who was following Knight, drove a tractor-trailer truck into the rear of the Knight vehicle, causing it to collide with appellee's van, resulting in personal injuries to appellee.

Appellee filed a motion for new trial stating three (3) grounds, among which he contended that the jury verdict was inadequate to compensate him for damages and injuries sustained.

The only error assigned and argued is that the court abused its discretion in ordering a new trial and the argument for both parties relates only to the adequacy of the verdict.

In his opinion sustaining the motion, the trial judge discussed contributory and comparative negligence and its effect on damages. He was of the opinion that all of the facts, both as to liability and damages, should be presented to another jury. The order granting a new trial recited that the court was of the opinion the damages assessed by the jury for the plaintiff are inadequate and a new trial should be granted, but, under the circumstances of the case, the new trial should be had on all issues.

The briefs and argument have not presented to this court the question whether or not we have jurisdiction of the cause in view of the trial court's order granting a new trial on all issues. Since that question is apparent on the record, we raise it pursuant to Rule 6, Miss.Sup.Ct. Rules.

Mississippi Code Annotated Section 11-7-213 (1972) provides:

"Every new trial granted shall be on such terms as the court shall direct; and no more than two new trials shall be granted to the same party in any cause. Provided, however, that when the Sole ground for a new trial is the excessiveness or inadequacy of damages assessed, the party aggrieved may elect to appeal from the order granting a new trial." (Emphasis added)

The above section plainly provides that an appeal from an order for a new trial may be had only when the sole ground for new trial is excessiveness or inadequacy of damages. New trial in the present case was not granted on the issue of damages alone, but on all issues.

In Farned v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 263 So.2d 790 (Miss.1972), the Court said:

"An appeal can be taken to the Supreme Court from a final judgment of the circuit court in a civil case. Miss. Code 1942 Ann. § 1147 (1956). (Now § 11-51-3, MCA (1972)). While an interlocutory...

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5 cases
  • McDaniel v. Ritter
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • November 29, 1989
    ...right, as there has been no final judgment. Maxwell v. Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, 513 So.2d 901, 908 (Miss.1987); Bowman v. Rutledge, 369 So.2d 768, 769 (Miss.1979); Street v. Lokey, 209 Miss. 412, 413, 47 So.2d 816 We have precedent of recent vintage for discretionary grant of an inte......
  • White v. Stewman
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • June 15, 2006
    ...determination that is not the proper subject of an appeal as a matter of right." Hearn, 876 So.2d at 384-85 (citing Bowman v. Rutledge, 369 So.2d 768, 769 (Miss.1979)); see also Farned v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 263 So.2d 790, 791 (Miss.1972); Bradley v. Holmes, 242 Miss. 247, 134 So.2......
  • Franklin v. Franklin, 2001-CA-01987-COA.
    • United States
    • Mississippi Court of Appeals
    • November 25, 2003
    ...(Miss.1987). The only avenue for review of a decision on a motion for new trial alone is via an interlocutory appeal. Bowman v. Rutledge, 369 So.2d 768, 769 (Miss.1979). The motion for new trial, whether granted or denied, is but one portion of the case as a whole which may, if proper objec......
  • Hearn v. Brown
    • United States
    • Mississippi Court of Appeals
    • September 23, 2003
    ...the verdict amount is an interlocutory determination that is not the proper subject of an appeal as a matter of right. Bowman v. Rutledge, 369 So.2d 768, 769 (Miss.1979). In this case, the trial court conditionally ordered a new trial on the issue of liability, which plainly has nothing to ......
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