Granberry v. O'Barr, 88-4428

Decision Date29 December 1988
Docket NumberNo. 88-4428,88-4428
Citation866 F.2d 112
Parties27 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 446 Patricia Below GRANBERRY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Dennis O'BARR, Defendant-Appellee. Summary Calendar.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

Bennie L. Turner, Randolph Walker, Walker & Turner, West Point, Miss., for plaintiff-appellant.

Taylor B. Smith, Threadgill, Smith, Sanders & Jolly, Columbus, Miss., for defendant-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi (EC-85-88-313-D).

Before GEE, WILLIAMS and HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judges.

JERRE S. WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge:

This is a diversity case involving a fatal automobile accident in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Appellant, Patricia Granberry, brought suit for damages against Dennis O'Barr, appellee, in the death of her father in the accident. Her father, driving a pickup truck, was hit on the left hand side by a tractor semi-trailer rig owned by O'Barr and operated by James E. Hardin. The jury verdict found no negligence in the operation of the tractor semi-trailer owned by appellee O'Barr.

Three issues are raised by appellant: The sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict of the jury, the refusal of the court to allow cross-examination of the only non-involved eyewitness to the accident as to a corporate connection with the insurer of appellee's truck, and the refusal to instruct the jury of the obligation under Mississippi law to slow down when special hazards such as hills, turns, and intersections exist. We briefly discuss each claim in turn.

Our review of a jury verdict as to the sufficiency of the evidence is exceedingly narrow because of the requirements of the right to a jury trial preserved by the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. "[N]o fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the common law." The common law standard of review is not the "clearly erroneous" standard in a trial before the court as provided in Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a). Instead, it is the same common law standard which is applied in awarding a directed verdict or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The standard of review is usually referred to as a "sufficiency of the evidence" standard. But the limited scope of our review is not fully described by such a general statement. In detail, we have stated it this way:

The standard for appellate review of a jury's verdict is exacting. The verdict must be upheld unless the facts and inferences point so strongly and so overwhelmingly in favor of one party that reasonable men could not arrive at any verdict to the contrary. If there is evidence of such quality and weight that reasonable and fair minded men in the exercise of impartial judgment might reach different conclusions, the jury function may not be invaded.

Western Co. of North America v. United States, 699 F.2d 264, 276 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 892, 104 S.Ct. 237, 78 L.Ed.2d 228 (1983).

The record in this case reveals that there is persuasive evidence that the truck was not exceeding the speed limit of 55 miles an hour, that it had moved into the left lane to pass the pickup truck, and that without signal or warning of any kind the pickup truck suddenly turned left across the left lane to enter a driveway. The particular stretch of highway was open and straight, without obstruction and without intersections. This evidence justifies a finding of no negligence on the part of the appellee's driver.

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18 cases
  • Bank One, Texas, N.A. v. Taylor
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • August 18, 1992
    ...and apply the same standards as that of the district court. Melear v. Spears, 862 F.2d 1177, 1182 (5th Cir.1989); Granberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112, 113 (5th Cir.1988). 3 We are guided in this task by the overriding "principle that 'it is the function of the jury as the traditional finder o......
  • Jordan v. Intercontinental Bulktank Corp., CA
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana — District of US
    • February 19, 1993
    ...correct instructions, the only inquiry on review is whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain these findings. Granberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112 (5th Cir.1988); Nunez v. Superior Oil Co., 572 F.2d 1119 (5th Cir.1978). When a judge has made factual findings, these findings are reviewed......
  • Brown v. Bryan County, Okl.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • June 2, 1995
    ...that the situation required this type of force.10 The standard for appellate review of a jury's verdict is exacting. Granberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112, 113 (5th Cir.1988). It is the same standard as applied in awarding a directed verdict or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and is refe......
  • Armstrong v. City of Dallas
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • July 22, 1993
    ...motion and the former motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict as motions for judgment as a matter of law.10 Granberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112, 113 (5th Cir.1988) (noting that standard of review of sufficiency of the evidence to support a jury verdict is the same as that applied in a......
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2 books & journal articles
  • § 17.03 ADMISSIBILITY FOR OTHER PURPOSES
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Evidence (CAP) Title Chapter 17 Liability Insurance: Fre 411
    • Invalid date
    ...clearly admissible to show possible bias of that witness."). See infra § 22.04 (discussing bias impeachment).[9] See Cranberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112, 114 (5th Cir. 1988) ("There is not the slightest shred of evidence that he had any knowledge as to whether the owner of the truck even had ......
  • § 17.03 Admissibility for Other Purposes
    • United States
    • Carolina Academic Press Understanding Evidence (2018) Title Chapter 17 Liability Insurance: FRE 411
    • Invalid date
    ...clearly admissible to show possible bias of that witness."). See infra § 22.04 (discussing bias impeachment).[9] See Granberry v. O'Barr, 866 F.2d 112, 114 (5th Cir. 1988) ("There is not the slightest shred of evidence that he had any knowledge as to whether the owner of the truck even had ......

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