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Bedor v. Johnson

292 P.3d 924 (2013)

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Bedor v. Johnson

Colorado Supreme Court

292 P.3d 924 (2013)

Facts

Michael Johnson (defendant) hit an ice patch, spun out of control across the center line, and collided with Richard Bedor (plaintiff), injuring both drivers. In the ensuing negligence action, the evidence conflicted as to whether Johnson was speeding or intoxicated. However, the investigating police officer confirmed that an ice patch often formed where the accident occurred, and Johnson admitted he was aware that ice might be present. The trial court instructed the jury that under the sudden-emergency doctrine, “a person who, through no fault of his own, is placed in a sudden emergency, is not chargeable with negligence if the person exercises that degree of care that a reasonably careful person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances.” The jury found for Johnson and Bedor appealed. The appellate court found the sudden-emergency instruction proper because competent evidence showed a sudden or unexpected emergency (the ice patch) that Johnson did not create. Bedor appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rice, J.)

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