Reeves v. Crawford

Decision Date12 January 1988
Docket NumberNo. 75337,75337
Citation364 S.E.2d 895,185 Ga.App. 518
PartiesREEVES v. CRAWFORD et al.
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Paulina C. Hoover, D. Dwight Bowen, for appellant.

Donald M. Shivers, James T. Budd, Atlanta, for appellees.

CARLEY, Judge.

Appellant-plaintiff filed suit, seeking to recover for the property damage to his automobile allegedly caused by appellee-defendants' negligence. Appellees answered, denying the material allegations of the complaint. The case came on for a jury trial. At the close of appellant's evidence, appellees moved for a directed verdict, asserting that, as to the issue of damages, appellant had failed to present sufficient evidence so as to authorize submission of the case to the jury. The trial court granted appellees' motion for a directed verdict and appellant appeals from that order.

Since appellant did not undertake to have repairs made to his automobile after the collision, the proper measure of damages would be the difference in the before and after value of the automobile. See General GMC Trucks v. Crockett, 145 Ga.App. 503(2), 244 S.E.2d 78 (1978). On direct examination, appellant did testify to the value of his automobile before and after the collision. On cross-examination, however, appellant admitted he had no real idea what the actual value of his car had been before or after the collision and that the opinion he had given as to those values was "mostly" guesswork. Appellees' motion to strike appellant's testimony concerning the value of his automobile was correctly granted by the trial court. Opinion evidence offered by a non-expert witness "as to the value of an item, in order to have probative value, must be based upon a foundation that the witness has some knowledge, experience, or familiarity with the value of the property in question or similar property and he must give reasons for the value assessed and also must have had an opportunity for forming a correct opinion. [Cits.] Absent this foundation, the opinion as to value [of the property] is inadmissible as it is nothing more than an 'unsupported conclusion or guess of the witness.' [Cit.]" Sisk v. Carney, 121 Ga.App. 560, 563(4), 174 S.E.2d 456 (1970). See Harris v. State, 191 Ga. 243, 259(9), 12 S.E.2d 64 (1940). See also Green, Ga. Law of Evidence (2nd Ed.), § 110. "The question of damages cannot be left to speculation conjecture and guesswork. [Cits.]" Development Corp. of Ga. v. Berndt, 131 Ga.App. 277, 278, 205 S.E.2d 868 (1974). ...

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5 cases
  • Excellence v. Martin Bros. Investments
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • October 3, 2011
    ...assessed and also must have had an opportunity for forming a correct opinion.(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Reeves v. Crawford, 185 Ga.App. 518, 364 S.E.2d 895 (1988). The attestations in Clark's affidavit laid a proper foundation for admissibility of his opinion as to the properties'......
  • State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hudson
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 14, 1994
    ...the collision, the proper measure of damages is the difference in the before and after value of the vehicle. See Reeves v. Crawford, 185 Ga.App. 518, 364 S.E.2d 895 (1988). "Direct testimony as to market value is in the nature of opinion evidence. One need not be an expert or dealer in the ......
  • Edwards v. Wilson
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • January 12, 1988
  • Truck Parts & Service, Inc. v. Rutledge
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 30, 1993
    ...Wilson v. Southern R. Co., 208 Ga.App. 598, 604-605(4), 431 S.E.2d 383. However, appellants, relying in part on Reeves v. Crawford, 185 Ga.App. 518, 364 S.E.2d 895, assert that appellee's testimony was grounded in hearsay. Reeves, supra, is distinguishable from this case, as in Reeves the p......
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