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Cervelli v. Graves

Wyoming Supreme Court
661 P.2d 1032 (1983)


Facts

While driving on an icy and slick highway, Cervelli (plaintiff) lost control of his truck and began to swerve. A cement truck driven by Graves (defendant) and owned by his employer, DeBernardi Brothers, Inc. (DeBernardi Brothers) (defendant), was travelling behind Cervelli. As Cervelli began to fishtail on the ice, Graves sought to pass him first on the left side and then on the right. Immediately thereafter, the two vehicles collided. Cervelli filed suit for negligence against Graves and DeBernardi Brothers to recover damages for the injuries he sustained. At trial, the evidence showed that Graves was a very experienced commercial driver; he had ten years truck driving experience, had successfully completed a defensive-driving course, and possessed a class “A” license, which meant he was authorized and experienced to drive commercial vehicles. However, the trial judge instructed the jury that it could not take into consideration Graves’ extensive driving experience and skills in fashioning a verdict. The jury found that Graves had not been negligent and denied Cervelli any recovery. Cervelli moved for a new trial. The trial court took no action on the motion, and it was deemed denied 60 days later. Cervelli appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Raper, J.)

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