Osborne v. Cobb

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Writing for the CourtFAULKNER; TORBERT
Citation410 So.2d 396
Decision Date02 March 1982
PartiesGrams B. OSBORNE v. Scott COBB. 80-250.

Page 396

410 So.2d 396
Grams B. OSBORNE
v.
Scott COBB.
80-250.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
March 2, 1982.

Page 397

Grams B. Osborne, pro se.

Clyde C. Owen, Jr. of Ball, Ball, Duke & Matthews, Montgomery, for appellee.

FAULKNER, Justice.

This is a negligence action arising out of a traffic accident between the appellant, Grams Osborne, and the appellee, Scott Cobb.

On January 18, 1980, Cobb and two friends were returning from a Montgomery night club, at approximately 1:30 A.M., where they had spent several hours. Cobb traveled north on Perry Street. Osborne left the house of a friend, and traveled east on Arba Street, which is perpendicular to Perry Street. The automobiles driven by Cobb and Osborne collided at the intersection of Perry and Arba Streets. Osborne suffered a head wound and was taken to a Montgomery hospital for treatment.

Osborne allegedly continued to have physical problems following the accident. Osborne filed suit against Cobb, alleging that Cobb's negligence in operating his automobile caused the accident and Osborne's injuries. The action was tried before a jury in Montgomery County. Cobb introduced testimony at trial that the traffic light at the intersection of Perry and Arba was green in Cobb's favor. Cobb and one of the passengers in his car testified that Osborne failed to stop for the red light on Arba Street.

Osborne introduced the contrary testimony of Elaine Humphrey, a Montgomery resident, who allegedly saw the accident. Humphrey testified that she was traveling north on Perry Street. She testified that Cobb passed her traveling at a high rate of speed. She also testified that the traffic signal on Perry Street was red, but that Cobb failed to stop for the red light and crashed into Osborne's automobile.

Although Miss Humphrey stated that she was not a personal friend of Osborne's, Cobb introduced Osborne's record from St. Margaret's Hospital naming Miss Humphrey as the person to "Notify In Case of Emergency." Osborne explained that this was his second visit to a hospital, sometime after the accident. At the first visit, he listed another person. He testified that he listed Humphrey because he and the nurse misunderstood each other when filling out the form. Osborne is a citizen of Nigeria and stated that Alabamians often have difficulty understanding his accent. Osborne stated that he thought the nurse asked him who to call concerning the events on the night of the traffic accident.

The officer at the scene of the accident testified that both drivers had been drinking, but did not say either was driving under the influence of alcohol.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of Cobb. Osborne made a motion for a new trial, which the trial court denied. Osborne appeals. The appellant asserts three major points as error. First, the appellant contends that the verdict is contrary to the evidence and the law presented in the case, and is not supported by sufficient evidence. Second, the appellant argues that the trial court erred in admitting the medical record of Osborne naming Miss Humphrey as a person to be notified in case of an emergency. Finally, Osborne urges this Court to find the trial judge erred by denying the appellant's Rule 26(b) motion to produce a prior statement of one of the appellee's witnesses.

A jury verdict is presumed to be correct. Marshall County v. Uptain, 409 So.2d 423 (Ala.1981), Trans-South Rent-A-Car, Inc. v. Wein, 378 So.2d 725 (Ala.1979). It is the function of the jury to resolve disputed issues of fact. Id. The jury's resolution of disputed issues of fact will not be reversed on appeal unless the verdict is against the preponderance of the evidence, or is clearly wrong or unjust. S. S. Kresge

Page 398

Co. v. Ruby, 348 So.2d 484 (Ala.1977). A trial court's denial of a motion for a new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness of the verdict, and will not be reversed unless it is plainly and palpably wrong.

In the present case, the issue of which driver failed to stop for the red light was hotly contested. The jury obviously resolved this factual issue in favor of the appellee. There is evidence in the record showing that Cobb was not negligent in operating his automobile. The jury acted within its proper fact finding function by resolving the issues in Cobb's favor. We cannot say that there is not sufficient evidence to support its verdict.

The appellant argues that the jury was obligated, under Code 1975, § 12-21-111, to...

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23 practice notes
  • Black Belt Wood Co., Inc. v. Sessions
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982), and the decision of the trial court will not be disturbed unless the verdict is against the preponderance of the evidence, or is ......
  • Zaden v. Elkus
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • September 12, 2003
    ...However, "[t]he trial court has discretion to admit evidence to show bias, prejudice, or interest of a witness." Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396, 398 (Ala.1982) (citing Insurance Co. of North America v. Mays, 278 Ala. 20, 174 So.2d 700 (1965), and Williams v. State, 44 Ala.App. 503, 214 So.2......
  • Bowers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • December 14, 2001
    ...590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for a new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982), and the decision of the trial court will not be disturbed unless the verdict is against the preponderance of the evidence or is......
  • Otwell v. Bryant
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...recognize that the trial court has discretion to admit evidence to show the bias, prejudice, or interest of a witness, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982); however, this rule applies only in certain limited situations. In Hinton & Sons v. Strahan, 266 Ala. 307, 96 So.2d 426 (1957), th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
23 cases
  • Black Belt Wood Co., Inc. v. Sessions
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982), and the decision of the trial court will not be disturbed unless the verdict is against the preponderance of the evidence, or is ......
  • Zaden v. Elkus
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • September 12, 2003
    ...However, "[t]he trial court has discretion to admit evidence to show bias, prejudice, or interest of a witness." Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396, 398 (Ala.1982) (citing Insurance Co. of North America v. Mays, 278 Ala. 20, 174 So.2d 700 (1965), and Williams v. State, 44 Ala.App. 503, 214 So.2......
  • Bowers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • December 14, 2001
    ...590 (Ala.1980). A denial of a motion for a new trial strengthens the presumption of correctness afforded a jury verdict, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982), and the decision of the trial court will not be disturbed unless the verdict is against the preponderance of the evidence or is......
  • Otwell v. Bryant
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • October 3, 1986
    ...recognize that the trial court has discretion to admit evidence to show the bias, prejudice, or interest of a witness, Osborne v. Cobb, 410 So.2d 396 (Ala.1982); however, this rule applies only in certain limited situations. In Hinton & Sons v. Strahan, 266 Ala. 307, 96 So.2d 426 (1957), th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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