Friday, October 26, 2012

Myhaver v. Knutson case brief

Myhaver v. Knutson

242 P.2d 445 (Ariz. 1997)

-D was driving when another driver entered the road and drove towards him.
-When D saw the other car driving towards him, he accelerated and swerved left to avoid what he perceived would be a head on collision.
-As a result, D crossed the yellow line into oncoming traffic and collided with P's vehicle. The D was seriously injured as a result.
-The other driver continued, not realizing what had happened. The police stopped her and asked her to return to the scene.

-A damage action was brought against the other driver (Magnusson) and they settled. Now, the P brings this suit against the D.

-Should the “sudden emergency” instruction by the jury be given in a case involving an automobile collision?

-Yes, in this case the court holds that the jury instruction given was proper.

-In the absence of negligence, the emergency instruction tells the jury that a person confronted with a sudden emergency that deprives him of time to contemplate the best reaction cannot be held to the same standard of care and accuracy of choice as a person who has time to deliberate.

-The emergency instruction should be confined to the case in which the emergency is not of the routine sort produced by the impending accident but arises from events the driver could not be expected to anticipate.

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