Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rozier v. Ford Motor Co. case brief

Rozier v. Ford Motor Co. case brief summary
573 F.2d 1332 (5th Cir. 1978)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff challenged the orders of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, finding in favor of defendant automobile manufacturer in a wrongful death action and denying plaintiff's subsequent motion to set aside the verdict pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(2) and (3).

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff brought a wrongful death suit against defendant automobile manufacturer contending that defendant's negligent design of a fuel tank caused the death of plaintiff's husband. The jury returned a verdict in favor of defendant, and plaintiff appealed. During the pendency of the appeal, plaintiff's counsel learned of the existence of a document prepared by a cost engineer working for defendant that was arguably covered by plaintiff's interrogatories and was never produced by the defense counsel. Plaintiff moved for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(2), and on the ground of fraud, misrepresentation or other misconduct, Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3). The trial court denied the motion on all grounds for reasons not stated in its order. Plaintiff's appeal of the order was consolidated with her appeal of the judgment in favor of defendant.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. 
  • The court held that plaintiff proved by clear and convincing evidence that defendant engaged in misrepresentation and other misconduct and that defendant's nondisclosure prevented plaintiff from fully and fairly presenting her case.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the trial court's judgment in favor of defendant automobile manufacturer in the wrongful death case and remanded the case for a new trial.


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