Truck Parts & Service, Inc. v. Rutledge

Decision Date30 November 1993
Docket NumberNo. A93A2090,A93A2090
Citation211 Ga.App. 166,438 S.E.2d 404
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Phillips & Messer, Arthur L. Phillips, Macon, for appellants.

Chambless, Higdon & Carson, Mary M. Katz, Macon, for appellee.

BIRDSONG, Presiding Judge.

Truck Parts & Service, Inc. appeals the order of the superior court denying its motion for new trial. Appellants' sole enumeration is that the trial court erred in denying appellants' motion for directed verdict on the issue of damages in that the jury was allowed to consider elicited hearsay testimony which had no probative value and was not based upon an adequate foundation. Specifically, appellants assert that only inadmissible hearsay evidence was introduced as to the value of a building removed without authority from appellee/plaintiff's property by appellant/defendants. Held:

1. No timely and specific objection was posed at trial to appellee's testimony concerning the value of the building. Thus, any foundation objection thereto was waived. Patton v. Bank of LaFayette, 124 Ga. 965(7), 53 S.E. 664; McGee v. State, 205 Ga.App. 722, 726(9), 423 S.E.2d 666.

2. "The standard for granting a directed verdict or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict are the same. Where there is no conflict in the evidence as to any material issue, and the evidence introduced, with all reasonable deductions therefrom, shall demand a particular verdict, such verdict shall be directed." Pendley v. Pendley, 251 Ga. 30(1), 302 S.E.2d 554. If there exists some admissible evidence of record regarding the value of the building then there would be no basis for granting directed verdict as to these issues, as the evidence would not demand a verdict in favor of appellants.

Appellant contends that the sole evidence regarding the value of a certain building removed from appellee's property was hearsay testimony of appellee that the value of the building was worth $15,000 to $20,000.

Appellee testified that the building appellant removed was a metal, two-bay shop, approximately ninety feet long and sixty feet wide. Parts of the disassembled building included metal sheets, metal bolts and not less than eight to ten metal beams. Appellee laid the foundation for admission of three photographs of the building; one showed the interior, one was an exterior view of the building, and one showed the building exterior from the side. These photographs were admitted into evidence. Other photographs were identified and admitted showing how the building was removed from the land.

Thereafter, appellee testified that the value of the removed building was $15,000 to $20,000. He subsequently admitted he had gotten the figure testified to as to the building's value from an "estimate" obtained from someone in the business of installing or erecting buildings and not present in court. Appellee also agreed that "those two lists of damages ... were just somebody else's opinion and not yours," and further conceded he had no factual basis, other than what he thought or speculated, for telling the jury that he suffered total damages in the amount of $29,000. However, appellee re-affirmed that, although he had no independent facts to support his claim for damages, his figures were "based on estimates" he had been given.

Construing appellee's testimony in its totality and in a light most favorable to verdict and judgment (Dept. of Transp. v. Hillside Motors, 192 Ga.App. 637, 639(2), 385 S.E.2d 746), we find that in substance appellee was testifying that, based upon estimates he had received, he believed the value of the building to be between $15,000 and $20,000. Thus, appellee was testifying "to a fact within his knowledge, namely that he had made inquiry and developed an estimate [of between $15,000 and $20,000 as the value of] the building." Harden v. Drost, 156 Ga.App. 363, 364(1), 274 S.E.2d 748; see B & L Svc. Co. v. Gerson, 167 Ga.App. 679, 681(4), 307 S.E.2d 262; compare Canal Ins. Co. v. Savannah Bank & Trust Co., 181 Ga.App. 520, 522(3), 352 S.E.2d 835. Appellee's knowledge of the general composition and size of the structure, as corroborated substantially by photographic evidence, together with the fact that he had made an inquiry and developed a broad estimate of value of the building based on "estimates" he had been given, provided some basis for a determination by the trial court that appellee had sufficient opportunity for forming his opinion as to the value range of the building. Involved in the admission of this evidence is the very type of judgment determination left to the discretion of the trial court; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting appellee's testimony as to the value of the...

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10 cases
  • Harrison v. Martin
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • May 27, 1994
    ...directed verdict as to these issues, as the evidence would not demand a verdict in favor of [the estate]." Truck Parts, etc., v. Rutledge, 211 Ga.App. 166(2), 438 S.E.2d 404. See Commonwealth Land Title Ins. Co. v. Miller, 195 Ga.App. 830, 833, 395 S.E.2d 243; Ohoopee Prod. Credit Assn. v. ......
  • Strong v. Wachovia Bank of Georgia, N.A.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • December 12, 1994
    ...merely to its weight and would not be a ground for valid objections." (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Truck Parts, etc., v. Rutledge, 211 Ga.App. 166, 167-168(2), 438 S.E.2d 404; compare McMillian v. Bank South, 188 Ga.App. 355, 373 S.E.2d 61. BVA Credit Corp. v. May, 152 Ga.App. 733, ......
  • South Fulton Medical Center, Inc. v. Poe
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 21, 1996
    ...shall demand a particular verdict, such verdict shall be directed." (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Truck Parts & Svc., Inc. v. Rutledge, 211 Ga.App. 166(2), 438 S.E.2d 404 (1993). Citing Clough v. Lively, 193 Ga.App. 286, 387 S.E.2d 573 (1989), and Matthews v. DeKalb County Hosp. Auth......
  • Kemira, Inc. v. Williams Investigative & Sec. Services, Inc.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • October 18, 1994
    ...v. Bank of LaFayette, 124 Ga. 965(7) (53 SE 664); McGee v. State, 205 Ga.App. 722, 726(9) (423 SE2d 666)." Truck Parts & Svc. v. Rutledge, 211 Ga.App. 166(1), 438 S.E.2d 404. (b) Nevertheless, defendant contends the trial court should have granted its motion for directed verdict because Tim......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Evidence - Marc T. Treadwell
    • United States
    • Mercer University School of Law Mercer Law Reviews No. 46-1, September 1994
    • Invalid date
    ...raised by the Child Hearsay Statute). 276. 208 Ga. App. 8, 430 S.E.2d 153 (1993). 277. Id. at 11, 430 S.E.2d at 156. 278. Id. 279. 211 Ga. App. 166, 438 s.e.2d 404 (1993). 280. Id. at 167, 438 s.e.2d at 405. 281. Id. 282. Id. 283. Id. 284. Id. 285. Id. 286. Id. at 168, 438 s.e.2d at 406. 28......

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