Williams v. Naidu, 67195

Citation168 Ga.App. 539,309 S.E.2d 686
Decision Date20 October 1983
Docket NumberNo. 67195,67195
PartiesWILLIAMS et al. v. NAIDU et al.
CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)

Paul M. Hawkins, Atlanta, for appellants.

Robert G. Tanner, Henry D. Green, Jr., Atlanta, for appellees.

QUILLIAN, Presiding Judge.

This is an action for damages arising from alleged medical malpractice brought by the injured plaintiff-appellant and his wife. After trial by jury the defendant-appellee physicians received a verdict and judgment in their favor, from which this appeal is taken. The sole enumeration of error is that the trial court erred in admitting the testimony of both appellees that they had never been sued before. Held:

This issue falls under OCGA § 24-2-2 (formerly Code Ann. § 38-202).

" ' "The general character of the parties, and especially their conduct in other transactions, are irrelevant matter ..." Code § 38-202. "In actions for damages for injuries sustained in an automobile accident alleged to have been caused by the negligence of the defendant, the issue before the court is the negligence or non-negligence of the defendant at the time and place of the accident ... And each transaction must be ascertained by its own circumstances, and not by the reputation or character of the parties ... It is a general rule that in a suit for negligence, evidence of similar acts or omissions on other and different occasions is not admissible. (Cits. omitted)." ' " Wright v. Dilbeck, 122 Ga.App. 214(4), 217, 176 S.E.2d 715.

We find that appellees' testimony that they had never been sued before is tantamount to saying that they had never been negligent as medical practitioners, from which it is inferable that they were not negligent in treating appellant.

"As a general rule in all negligence actions, evidence of similar acts or omissions is not admissible ... However, '[i]f proof of a similar accident or similar method of acting tends to prove some fact of the case on trial, the testimony falls within an exception--such as to show knowledge of a defect ..., or causation ... or to rebut a contention that it was impossible for the accident to happen in the manner claimed ... .' Independent testimony of other transactions has also been admitted to show the prior existence of a dangerous condition ... or hazardous situation ..." (Cits. omitted). Gunthorpe v. Daniels, 150 Ga.App. 113(1), 257 S.E.2d 199.

If evidence of prior similar acts of negligence is not admissible, it follows that evidence of the absence of any such prior acts is equally inadmissible.

As there is no evidence of any such similar conduct or other transactions, there is nothing that falls within the exceptions...

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11 cases
  • Sw. Emergency Physicians, P.C. v. Quinney, A18A0871.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • September 28, 2018
    ...evidence in decedent’s estate’s dram-shop liability claim against defendant that warranted a new trial); Williams v. Naidu , 168 Ga. App. 539, 540-41, 309 S.E.2d 686 (1983) (holding that specific testimony by the two defendant physicians in malpractice action that they had never been sued b......
  • Lai v. Sagle, 72
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • March 10, 2003
    ... ... 165, 171 (E.D.Mo.1993); Jackson v. Buchman, 338 Ark. 467, 996 S.W.2d 30, 34 (1999) ; Williams v. Memorial Medical Center, 218 Ga.App. 107, 460 S.E.2d 558, 560 (1995) ; Beis v. Dias, 859 ... Naidu ... ...
  • Weaver v. Ross
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • July 14, 1989
    ... ... by its own circumstances, and not by the reputation or character of the parties.' " ' " Williams v. Naidu, 168 Ga.App. 539, 540, 309 S.E.2d 686 (1983). "A witness' possible lack of credibility ... ...
  • Thompson v. Moore, 69232
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 12, 1985
    ...v. Hopson, 45 Ga.App. 762, 765(8), 166 SE 45." Wright v. Dilbeck, 122 Ga.App. 214(4), 217, 176 S.E.2d 715; see Williams v. Naidu, 168 Ga.App. 539, 540, 309 S.E.2d 686. See Grannemann v. Salley, 95 Ga.App. 778, 779, 99 S.E.2d 338. Generally, proof of the defendant's prior driving record, or ......
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