Marshall v. Peter

[TORT LAW]

In Marshall v. Peter,[1] the supreme court held that reasonable jurors could disagree over whether the defendant was negligent in an automobile accident case.[2] Defendant Peter came to a complete stop behind the car of plaintiff Marshall at a red light, leaving about one-half car length between them.[3] When the light turned green Marshall began to move forward, but then stopped before entering the intersection when the light turned red.[4] Peter claimed he was focusing on the space between his car and hers,[5] and that he had not even placed his foot on the accelerator when he slid into Marshall’s vehicle.[6] At trial, the lower court denied Marshall’s motion for a directed verdict, stating that there was evidence to suggest liability was an issue.[7] The lower court reasoned that since Peter had just stopped, was aware of the icy conditions, and made sure to leave distance between their cars, reasonable persons could disagree about whether Peter was negligent.[8] On appeal, the supreme court reasoned that since a following driver exercising due care is one who, among other things, anticipates changing road conditions and sudden stops, there is evidence to suggest Peter was not driving negligently and that a directed verdict would be inappropriate.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that in an automobile case, reasonable jurors could disagree over whether the defendant was negligent.[10]

[1] 377 P.3d 952 (Alaska 2016).
[2] Id. at 954.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id. at 955.
[6] Id. at 954.
[7] Id. at 955.
[8] See id. at 957.
[9] See id. at 956–57.
[10] See id. at 956.

Marshall v. Peter

[TORT LAW]

In Marshall v. Peter,[1] the supreme court held that reasonable jurors could disagree over whether the defendant was negligent in an automobile accident case.[2] Defendant Peter came to a complete stop behind the car of plaintiff Marshall at a red light, leaving about one-half car length between them.[3] When the light turned green Marshall began to move forward, but then stopped before entering the intersection when the light turned red.[4] Peter claimed he was focusing on the space between his car and hers,[5] and that he had not even placed his foot on the accelerator when he slid into Marshall’s vehicle.[6] At trial, the lower court denied Marshall’s motion for a directed verdict, stating that there was evidence to suggest liability was an issue.[7] The lower court reasoned that since Peter had just stopped, was aware of the icy conditions, and made sure to leave distance between their cars, reasonable persons could disagree about whether Peter was negligent.[8] On appeal, the supreme court reasoned that since a following driver exercising due care is one who, among other things, anticipates changing road conditions and sudden stops, there is evidence to suggest Peter was not driving negligently and that a directed verdict would be inappropriate.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that in an automobile case, reasonable jurors could disagree over whether the defendant was negligent.[10]

[1] 377 P.3d 952 (Alaska 2016).
[2] Id. at 954.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id. at 955.
[6] Id. at 954.
[7] Id. at 955.
[8] See id. at 957.
[9] See id. at 956–57.
[10] See id. at 956.