Cline v. Kehs, No. 55416

CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtBIRDSONG; BELL, C. J., and SHULMAN
Citation146 Ga.App. 350,246 S.E.2d 329
PartiesCLINE v. KEHS.
Docket NumberNo. 55416
Decision Date22 June 1978

Page 329

246 S.E.2d 329
146 Ga.App. 350
CLINE

v.
KEHS.
No. 55416.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Argued Feb. 27, 1978.
Decided April 25, 1978.
Rehearing Denied June 22, 1978.

Page 330

[146 Ga.App. 352] Simmons, Warren & Szczecko, Joseph Szczecko, P. A., Decatur, for appellant.

[146 Ga.App. 353] Savell, Williams, Cox & Angel, Edward L. Savell, Andrew Robert Greene, Atlanta, for appellee.

[146 Ga.App. 350] BIRDSONG, Judge.

Plaintiff brought this suit to recover damages for personal injuries sustained in an automobile collision. Shortly after the trial commenced, the trial judge on his own motion decided to bifurcate the issues of liability and damage, and to submit the case to the jury on written interrogatories. At the close of the trial on liability, the jury returned answers of "yes" to the three questions submitted by the court: Was the defendant negligent; was the plaintiff negligent; was any negligence of the plaintiff equal to or greater than the negligence of the defendant. Based on these answers, the trial court entered a judgment for the defendant, and plaintiff appeals. Held:

1. Plaintiff contends that the manner in which the trial judge bifurcated this case violated fundamental principles of due process and deprived plaintiff of his constitutional right to a fair trial. The court had the authority, pursuant to CPA § 42 (b) (Code Ann. § 81A-142 (b)), to order a separate trial on the issues of liability and damages. The court properly used its broad discretionary power not to encumber the trial with issues that could be separated, and being a discretionary matter there will be no reversal unless there has been a manifest abuse of discretion. Sollek v. Laseter, 124 Ga.App. 131, 183 S.E.2d 86. None has been shown.

2. As the trial court bifurcated the issues of liability and damage, no error was committed in excluding certain [146 Ga.App. 351] evidence concerning the permanent nature of plaintiff's injuries, or in excluding certain medical bills and records. The evidence excluded was not relevant to the issue of liability.

3. Plaintiff contends that the trial court erred in submitting written interrogatories

Page 331

to the jury which called for conclusions of law rather than findings of fact. As noted above, CPA § 42 (b) authorized a separate trial on the issue of liability. In furtherance of this statutory authority, a trial court may, under CPA § 49 (a) (Code Ann. § 81A-149 (a)), require a jury to return a special verdict "in...

To continue reading

Request your trial
19 practice notes
  • 77 Hawai'i 282, Montalvo v. Lapez, No. 16913
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • October 12, 1994
    ...a jury on the meaning of proximate or legal cause, when such issue is in dispute, is plain error requiring reversal. In Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350, 246 S.E.2d 329 (1978), the Georgia Court of Appeals remanded an auto accident negligence case because of inadequate instructions on proxima......
  • Whitley v. Gwinnett County, No. A95A2136
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 15, 1996
    ...its discretion in the case sub judice. Parks v. Consolidated Freightways, 187 Ga.App. 576, 577(1), 370 S.E.2d 827 (1988); Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350(1), 246 S.E.2d 329 (1978). 3. Whitley argues that the trial court erred in granting defendants' motion in limine on the admissibility of s......
  • Hughes v. Malone, No. 55295
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • June 22, 1978
    ...v. MALONE. No. 55295. Court of Appeals of Georgia. Argued Jan. 30, 1978. Decided May 3, 1978. Rehearing Denied June 22, 1978. Page 109 [146 Ga.App. 350] James K. Jenkins, Timothy N. Skidmore, Atlanta, for Watson, Spence, Lowe & Chambless, G. Stuart Watson, Albany, for appellee. [146 Ga.App.......
  • Dietz v. Becker, Nos. A93A0394
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • July 2, 1993
    ...in our law that no liability attaches unless the negligence alleged is the proximate cause of the injury sustained.' Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350(6) (246 SE2d 329) (1978)." Dilworth v. Boeckler, 187 Ga.App. 241, 370 S.E.2d 17 (1988). Since the grant of a directed verdict on the issue of "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • 77 Hawai'i 282, Montalvo v. Lapez, No. 16913
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • October 12, 1994
    ...a jury on the meaning of proximate or legal cause, when such issue is in dispute, is plain error requiring reversal. In Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350, 246 S.E.2d 329 (1978), the Georgia Court of Appeals remanded an auto accident negligence case because of inadequate instructions on proxima......
  • Whitley v. Gwinnett County, No. A95A2136
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • March 15, 1996
    ...its discretion in the case sub judice. Parks v. Consolidated Freightways, 187 Ga.App. 576, 577(1), 370 S.E.2d 827 (1988); Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350(1), 246 S.E.2d 329 (1978). 3. Whitley argues that the trial court erred in granting defendants' motion in limine on the admissibility of s......
  • Hughes v. Malone, No. 55295
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • June 22, 1978
    ...v. MALONE. No. 55295. Court of Appeals of Georgia. Argued Jan. 30, 1978. Decided May 3, 1978. Rehearing Denied June 22, 1978. Page 109 [146 Ga.App. 350] James K. Jenkins, Timothy N. Skidmore, Atlanta, for Watson, Spence, Lowe & Chambless, G. Stuart Watson, Albany, for appellee. [146 Ga.App.......
  • Dietz v. Becker, Nos. A93A0394
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • July 2, 1993
    ...in our law that no liability attaches unless the negligence alleged is the proximate cause of the injury sustained.' Cline v. Kehs, 146 Ga.App. 350(6) (246 SE2d 329) (1978)." Dilworth v. Boeckler, 187 Ga.App. 241, 370 S.E.2d 17 (1988). Since the grant of a directed verdict on the issue of "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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