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Hilen v. Hays

Kentucky Supreme Court
673 S.W.2d 713 (1984)


Margie Hilen (plaintiff) decided to ride with Keith Hays (defendant) even though he was too intoxicated to drive safely. Hays rear-ended another vehicle, overturning his own and injuring Hilen. In the ensuing negligence action, the trial court directed a verdict that Hays was negligent but submitted to the jury the question of whether Hilen also acted negligently by riding with a drunk driver. The trial court instructed the jury that contributory negligence completely barred any recovery, which accurately reflected Kentucky law at the time, and refused to give a comparative-negligence instruction requested by Hilen. The jury found Hilen contributorily negligent, completely barring her recovery. The appellate court affirmed, prompting Hilen to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Leibson, J.)

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