Jackson v. Griffin, 52163

Decision Date12 November 1980
Docket NumberNo. 52163,52163
Citation390 So.2d 287
PartiesHarry Jarvis JACKSON v. Carlton O. GRIFFIN and Farrish Gravel Company, Inc.
CourtMississippi Supreme Court

H. L. Merideth, Jr., Robertshaw & Merideth, Greenville, Charles M. Deaton, Billy B. Bowman, Brewer, Deaton, Evans & Bowman, Greenwood, for appellant.

Arnold F. Gwin, Lott, Sanders & Gwin, Greenwood, for appellees.

Before SMITH, P. J., and SUGG and LEE, JJ.

LEE, Justice, for the Court:

Harry Jarvis Jackson filed suit against Carlton O. Griffin (Griffin) and Farrish Gravel Company, Inc. (Farrish) in the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Carroll County, seeking damages for the death of his wife, Sylvia Jackson, who was killed in a truck-car collision. The declaration charged negligence against Griffin and Farrish, and sought actual and punitive damages. After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. Jackson has appealed, assigning two (2) errors in the trial below.

I.

Was the verdict of the jury contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence?

The appellant contends, under this assignment of error, that the appellees were guilty of negligence which proximately caused the collision and that the jury verdict is contrary to, and contradicted by, the undisputed physical facts of the case. The appellant also requested a preemptory instruction on the issue of liability in the trial below, and, after verdict, filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or, in the alternative, for a new trial.

Appellant's wife was a nurse at the Greenwood-Leflore Hospital, and, on October 23, 1978, had worked the 11 p. m. to 7 a. m. shift. After she was picked up by her husband at the hospital shortly after 7 a. m., she drove him to his job in Greenwood, then drove toward their home, fourteen (14) miles away in rural Carroll County. Mrs. Jackson was proceeding in a northerly direction on a curvy, hilly, narrow gravel road and was approaching and meeting a tractor-trailer truck, owned by Farrish and driven by Griffin, its agent, in a southerly direction on said road. Griffin had been driving on the road for approximately ten (10) days, hauling gravel from a nearby pit. Mrs. Jackson routinely traveled the road to and from her place of work. The collision occurred a short distance north of a curve in the road and resulted in her instant death. There were no eyewitnesses to the collision except Griffin. He testified that he glimpsed the Jackson vehicle approaching; that it was on his side of the road; that he thought the vehicle would move over to its proper side; that he was as far over on the west side of the road as he could get without going in the ditch; that his tractor truck was on its proper side of the road; that the Jackson car was on the west side of the road in the truck lane when the accident occurred; and that just before the accident, when he became aware that the Jackson car was not moving over to its proper lane, he sounded his horn and applied the brakes. Some of the physical facts are in dispute; others are not.

Sheriff C. D. Whitfield, who arrived at the scene shortly after the collision, made measurements, assisted by his deputy, Kenneth McCrory. He testified that the road was twenty-four (24) feet wide at the point of impact, that marks made by the left wheel of the Jackson car were twelve (12) feet from the east edge of the road, and that the distance from that point to the west edge was twelve (12) feet, the width of the road totalling twenty-four feet.

Deputy McCrory testified that the measurements noted by Sheriff Whitfield in his accident report were inaccurate. Witnesses referred to photographs, which showed the imprint of the truck wheels in the west side of the road on the edge of the ditch, and they identified tire marks of the truck from the point of impact to the place where the truck came to a halt. The left front axle of the truck was broken by the impact, and it plowed a furrow down the west lane of the road for approximately one hundred twenty-five (125) feet. Sheriff Whitfield testified that the speed limit was fifty-five (55) miles per hour along the road. Griffin testified that the truck was in eighth gear at the time of the collision (it had twelve (12) forward gears) and a truck expert testified that the vehicle would not go more than thirty (30) miles per hour in eighth gear. There was also testimony to the effect that debris was in the middle of the road and four (4) or five (5) feet over on the west side of the road.

The appellant cites and relies upon Elsworth v. Glindmeyer, 234 So.2d 312 (Miss.1970) for the argument that debris and physical facts prove that the collision occurred in the deceased's lane of travel. There, two vehicles collided head-on and were wedged into a "...

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  • Peterson v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 22, 1996
    ...and no one instruction is to be taken out of context of the whole." Mackbee v. State, 575 So.2d 16, 34 (Miss.1990); Jackson v. Griffin, 390 So.2d 287, 290 (Miss.1980); Alexander v. State, 250 So.2d 629, 632 (Miss.1971). A court's jury instructions "will not warrant reversal if the jury was ......
  • Ill. Cent. Gulf R.R. Co. v. Travis
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • February 14, 2013
    ...will interfere with a jury's verdict.” Slay v. Illinois Cent. Gulf R. Co., 511 So.2d 875, 881 (Miss.1987) (quoting Jackson v. Griffin, 390 So.2d 287, 289 (Miss.1980)). “The jury heard the testimony and observed the conduct of the witnesses as they were testifying and decided the issue in fa......
  • Mackbee v. State
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • December 27, 1990
    ...Jury instructions are to be read as a whole and no one instruction is to be taken out of context of the whole. Jackson v. Griffin, 390 So.2d 287, 290 (Miss.1980); Alexander v. State, 250 So.2d 629, 632 (Miss.1971); see also Murphy v. State, 566 So.2d 1201, 1207 (Miss.1990). Additionally, th......
  • Heidel v. State, 07-KA-59495
    • United States
    • Mississippi Supreme Court
    • September 11, 1991
    ...and taken as a whole with no one instruction taken out of context. 5 Mackbee v. State, 575 So.2d 16, 34 (Miss.1990); Jackson v. Griffin, 390 So.2d 287, 290 (Miss.1980); Alexander v. State, 250 So.2d 629, 632 (Miss.1971); see also Murphy v. State, 566 So.2d 1201, 1207 (Miss.1990). A defendan......
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