Krasner v. Lester, 48668

Decision Date15 November 1973
Docket NumberNo. 1,No. 48668,48668,1
PartiesNorman KRASNER v. Scott B. LESTER et al. Oct, 29, 1973. Rehearing Denied
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Syllabus by the Court

1. Any stage of any trial where one party has the right to present oral testimony, the other party has a right to offer evidence tending to impeach the credibility of such witness by any method sanctioned under Code Ch. 38-18. It follows that where the defendant is in default in an action for unliquidated damages, and the plaintiff offers witnesses to establish the amount of damages, the defendant has the right to offer evidence otherwise admissible for purposes of impeachment.

2. The record of an indictment and conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude was properly admitted in evidence in an attempt to impeach the testimony of the plaintiff, over the objection that it was too remote in point of time.

3. Under the specific facts of this case, the record of similar litigation by the plaintiff over a period of years, involving allegations of similar automobile collisions and similar injuries, was admissible as going to the credit of the plaintiff in his testimony regarding physical injuries allegedly sustained in the action on trial.

Norman Krasner filed suit against Red Top Cab Co., Inc., and its driver Lester, alleging that his automobile had been hit from the rear by the defendant and he had sustained injuries to his back, groin, cervical vertebrae, chest, stomach, and left leg and ankle. The defendants allowed the suit to go in default, and it went to trial on the question of damages only. The plaintiff testified to his injuries and damage to his automobile, and his doctor also testified to having operated on him shortly after the collision for recurrent hernia, which eventually resulted in the atrophy of a testicle, and further gave some medical history showing that the plaintiff had various hernia operations, beginning in 1960, had severe stomach and back injuries following an accident in 1964, and also had medical difficulties with his legs. The defendant then offered a witness who had examined the Defendant's taxicab following the collision, and who testified that a headlight and slight bend in the grill work, a total damage of less than $50, was the extent of injury to the taxicab. The defendant also offered the records of six other lawsuits in which Krasner was plaintiff suing for personal injury resulting from automobile collision, the dates being 1950, April and December of 1951, 1959, 1964, and 1968. Most of these alleged severse back and neck injuries; the later ones included hernia and left leg injuries. Also admitted over objection was the record of a two-count indictment and conviction, in 1937, for the offense of cheating and swindling, alleging that the plaintiff, who was at that time practicing law, conspired with two of his clients to represent them as two other people known to have been passengers involved in a streetcar collision for the purpose of mulcting the company of damages.

The jury found a general verdict in favor of the defendants, and plaintiff appeals.

D. W. Krasner, Norman Krasner, William E. Spence, John McGuigan, Atlanta, for appellant.

Henning, Chambers & Mabry, Edward J. Henning, Atlanta, for appellees.

DEEN, Judge.

1. Various enumerations of error complain of testimony elicited from the plaintiff on cross examination, and certified court records introduced in support thereof, to the effect that between 1950 and 1968 the plaintiff had filed seven damage suits against separate defendants alleging injuries resulting from automobile collisions, all of them very similar to the injuries alleged here. The defendant also acknowledged having given a deposition in 1968 in relation to the 1959 action, which is still pending, in which he ascribed to that collision the same injuries he now testifies were contracted in 1965 in this action.

Written statements by a witness and allegations in pleadings in other cases contradictory to his testimony on trial may be introduced in evidence for purposes of impeachment. Hodges v. Haverty, 115 Ga.App. 199(2), 154 S.E.2d 276; Manley v. Combs, 197 Ga. 768(2), 30 S.E.2d 485; Buschbaum v. Heriot, 5 Ga.App. 521, 63 S.E. 645; Code § 38-1803. The trial court did not err either in allowing the evidence here attacked, or in overruling the motion to suppress it offered prior to the trial. It is further argued that the papers involved in the other lawsuits were not in fact introduced in...

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11 cases
  • Jarrett v. Parker
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • May 23, 1975
    ...that the defendant was negligent, where it is authorized to find that that negligence did not cause her an injury. See Krasner v. Lester, 130 Ga.App. 234, 202 S.E.2d 693; Brown v. Nutter, 125 Ga.App. 449(5), 188 S.E.2d 133; Brown v. Wingard, 122 Ga.App. 544(4), 177 S.E.2d 797; Levine v. Now......
  • Magnan v. Miami Aircraft Support, Inc.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • July 13, 1995
    ...conclude that although they were exposed to the pesticide, they did not carry their burden in proving damages. See Krasner v. Lester, 130 Ga.App. 234(3), 202 S.E.2d 693 (1973). As we stated in Flanders, supra at 289, 223 S.E.2d 482, the charge complained of was a correct statement of the la......
  • Rogers v. Eckerd Drugs of Georgia, Inc., 57375
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • May 3, 1979
    ...law suit which also tended to impeach his testimony in the instant case concerning his damages was also admissible. Krasner v. Lester, 130 Ga.App. 234, 202 S.E.2d 693 (1973). 6. The last error enumerated complains that comparative negligence was improperly charged although it was not in iss......
  • Thomason v. Genuine Parts Co.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 25, 1980
    ...154 S.E.2d 276; Manley v. Combs, 197 Ga. 768(2), 30 S.E.2d 485; Buschbaum v. Heriot, 5 Ga.App. 521, 63 S.E. 645." Krasner v. Lester, 130 Ga.App. 234, 235, 202 S.E.2d 693. However, in the Krasner, case we are unable to determine if the written statements allowed in evidence in that case were......
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