487 S.W.2d 694
• Petitioner trucker challenged the decision of The Court of Civil Appeals (Texas), which reversed and remanded respondent accident victim’s personal injury suit for a new trial because the trial court had failed to submit a special issue on negligence to the jury after it found negligence per se.
• Petitioner trucker collided with and injured respondent accident victim when he was illegally passing on the left within 100 feet of an intersection, in violation of a criminal statute. Because the trial court found negligence per se against petitioner, it did not submit any negligence issues to the jury. Petitioner sought review and the lower court affirmed the finding of negligence per se, but reversed and remanded for a new trial because the jury did not make a special finding on the negligence issues of justification or excuse.
• In the absence of a legitimate excuse for noncompliance, is a violation of a statute causing injury negligence per se
• Unless a legitimate excuse for non compliance is offered, violation of a statue causing injury is negligence per se
• An excused violation of a legislative enactment is not negligence. While the list of excusable situations given is not intended to be exclusive, it lists five categories. They are: a) the violation is reasonable because of the actor’s incapacity; b) he neither knows nor should know of the occasion for compliance; c) he is unable after reasonable diligence or care to comply; d) he is confronted by an emergency not due to his own misconduct; and e) compliance would involve a greater risk of harm to the actor or to others
• The court reversed and affirmed the trial court’s ruling of negligence per se against petitioner trucker in respondent accident victims’ negligence suit, because at the time of the accident respondent’s passing on the left violated a criminal statute which was intended as a highway safety measure. The evidence did not support a finding of excuse or justification.
The court remanded for a ruling on the excessiveness of the verdict.
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