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Bartlett v. New Mexico Welding Supply, Inc.

New Mexico Court of Appeals
646 P.2d 579 (N.M. App. 1982)


Three vehicles were driving in succession. The first car pulled into a service station, but quickly pulled out and back into the road. Jane Bartlett (plaintiff) slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the first car. The truck behind Bartlett was unable to avoid crashing into her. The driver of the first car is unknown. New Mexico adopted a pure comparative negligence system. Bartlett brought suit against the owner of the truck, New Mexico Welding Supply, Inc. (NM Welding) (defendant). The jury determined that Bartlett’s damages were $100,000 and that NM Welding was negligent to the extent of 30 percent of the damages and the unknown driver was negligent to the extent of 70 percent of the damages. Bartlett moved that NM Welding be liable for the entire $100,000. The trial court denied the motion and then ordered a new trial due to faulty jury instructions. The trial court granted NM Welding’s petition for an interlocutory appeal.

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Holding and Reasoning (Wood, J.)

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