McCloud v. Baum

Decision Date26 September 1977
Docket NumberNo. 14817,14817
Citation569 P.2d 1125
PartiesThomas Wayne McCLOUD, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Maxine Lowe BAUM, Defendant and Respondent.
CourtUtah Supreme Court

Don R. Peterson, Provo, for plaintiff and appellant

Dallas H. Young, Jr., Ray H. Ivie, Provo, for defendant and respondent.

MAUGHAN, Justice.

Plaintiff brought this action, to recover for personal injuries and property damage, sustained in an intersection collision. The issues of liability and damages were submitted to a jury, which found plaintiff one hundred percent negligent and defendant without negligence. The trial court rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict. Plaintiff appeals, and contends the trial court erred in its denial of plaintiff's motions for a directed verdict, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or for a new trial. We affirm. No costs awarded. All statutory references are to U.C.A.1953.

This accident occurred in Provo, Utah on March, 28, 1974 at approximately 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Plaintiff was driving a motorcycle in an easterly direction on Center Street. Plaintiff, at a speed of 30 mph, was following a truck with a camper attached; as both vehicles traveled toward the intersection at 16000 West. As the truck approached the intersection, its left-turn signal was activated and the vehicle either slowed or stopped completely. Plaintiff testified he was approximately 30 feet behind the camper. He passed to the right of the camper and collided with the rear portion of defendant's vehicle.

Defendant was operating her vehicle in a westerly direction on Center Street. At the intersection, she stopped to make a left turn. At that time, the camper was not completely in the intersection. Defendant observed no cars following the camper. Both the camper and defendant proceeded into the intersection at approximately the same time to execute left turns. The evidence is conflicting as to whether the camper was stopped or moving in the intersection, at the time of the collision. Defendant testified plaintiff swung out around the camper and the collision occurred.

The investigating police officer testified the intersection was controlled by a flashing yellow light for east west traffic. The officer found defendant's vehicle just out of the intersection when he arrived at the scene. He testified that Center Street was a two lane roadway, and the travelled area of the east bound lane was fourteen feet wide.

Plaintiff left a skid mark fifty feet long. The mark began in an area fourteen feet, six inches south of the center line, at the edge of the traveled portion of the roadway, and extended at an eleven degree angle to a point nineteen feet, six inches south of the centerline; the point of impact. The evidence indicated that prior to his braking the machine, plaintiff was traveling 30 mph.

Measurements revealed defendant had traveled 43 feet, from the point where she commenced her left turn, to the point of impact. Her speed was between 5 mph and 8 mph; she left no skid marks. The investigating officer estimated the car travelled twelve feet after the collision. There was expert testimony based on the physical facts in evidence, indicating the feet per second each party was traveling at various designated speeds. It was calculated there would be an interval of 1.9 seconds during plaintiff's skid of fifty feet. Plaintiff testified he commenced braking as soon as he observed defendant turning left.

In reviewing denial of motions for a directed verdict, judgment n. o. v., or in the alternative for a new trial, this court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the party against whom the motion was made. 1

In reviewing a trial court's exercise of discretion upon a motion for a new trial, this court examines the record to determine whether the evidence to support the verdict was completely lacking or was so slight and unconvincing as to make the verdict plainly unreasonable and unjust. If there be an evidentiary basis for the jury's decision, then the denial of the new trial must be affirmed. 2

In reviewing a trial court's rulings pertaining to motions for a directed verdict or judgment n. o. v., this court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and to afford him the benefit of all inferences which the evidence fairly supports. If reasonable persons could reach differing conclusions on the issue in controversy, a jury question exists and the motion should be denied. 3

With these principles in mind, we assess plaintiff's arguments. First, he contends defendant was negligent, as a matter of law, in failing to yield the right of way, and the trial court should have granted the motion for a directed verdict on that basis.

Plaintiff cites section 41-6-73, which provides:

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard, during the time when such driver is moving within the intersection.

He further contends, as a matter of law, he was in such close proximity to the intersection at the time defendant commenced her turn he constituted an immediate hazard. Based on the expert testimony in the record, the court could have found plaintiff was 225.56 feet from the intersection at the time def...

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18 cases
  • Depew v. Sullivan
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals
    • May 22, 2003
    ...773 P.2d 45 (Utah 1988). ¶ 41 First, as to Plaintiff's motions for a directed verdict and for a new trial, the case of McCloud v. Baum, 569 P.2d 1125 (Utah 1977), which both parties discuss at length in their briefs, appears to be very much on point. Although the facts of that case are slig......
  • Jenkins v. Weis
    • United States
    • Utah Court of Appeals
    • January 7, 1994
    ...as to make the verdict plainly unreasonable and unjust." See Nelson v. Trujillo, 657 P.2d 730, 732 (Utah 1982) (quoting McCloud v. Baum, 569 P.2d 1125, 1127 (Utah 1977)). Directed Verdict: Emotional Distress and Invasion of Jenkins claims the trial court improperly dismissed his causes of a......
  • DeBry v. Cascade Enterprises, s. 910216
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • July 1, 1994
    ...Mel Hardman Prods., Inc. v. Robinson, 604 P.2d 913, 917 (Utah 1979); Kilpack v. Wignall, 604 P.2d 462, 463 (Utah 1979); McCloud v. Baum, 569 P.2d 1125, 1127 (Utah 1977). A motion should be denied " '[i]f reasonable persons could reach differing conclusions on the issue in controversy.' " Ki......
  • Nelson v. Trujillo
    • United States
    • Utah Supreme Court
    • November 19, 1982
    ...was completely lacking or was so slight and unconvincing as to make the verdict plainly unreasonable and unjust." McCloud v. Baum, Utah, 569 P.2d 1125, 1127 (1977); Pollesche v. Transamerican Insurance Co., 27 Utah 2d 430, 497 P.2d 236 (1972). Where the trial court has granted the motion fo......
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