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Cummings v. General Motors Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
365 F.3d 944 (10th Cir. 2004)


Facts

Tracey Cummings (plaintiff) got into a car accident and was paralyzed. She brought suit against General Motors Corp. (GM) (defendant), the car’s manufacturer, alleging a defect in the seat and seatbelt. GM alleged that her injuries were not the result of a defect, but rather because she was reclined in the seat at the time of the accident. Cummings produced evidence that her child was in a rear-facing child seat behind her seat, so she could not have reclined the seat. GM produced evidence that the car seat was actually facing forward, giving Cummings room to recline. The jury found in favor of GM. Cummings appealed and one month after the verdict found videos produced by GM in an unrelated trial that allegedly tended to show that it was impossible for Cummings to have had her seat reclined at the time of the accident. Seven months after discovery of the video, Cummings filed a motion for relief based on Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that the videos fell within her previous discovery requests. The district court denied the motion as untimely and lacking support. Cummings appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kelly, Jr., J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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