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Tatman v. Collins

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
938 F.2d 509 (4th Cir. 1991)


On April 15, 1986, Monte L. Tatman was rear-ended by Bobby Wayne Collins (defendant). Tatman was subsequently treated by Dr. Joseph Amico for injuries sustained in the accident. Nearly a year later, Tatman passed away from an aneurysm allegedly related to the accident. Rebecca Tatman (plaintiff) brought suit against Collins and his employer, H & T Trucking Services, Inc. (defendant) for wrongful death. Early in the discovery process, the defendants deposed Dr. Amico. However, Dr. Amico was unable to appear at trial. Thus, Tatman sought to introduce the deposition testimony of Dr. Amico on grounds that Dr. Amico was over 100 miles away from the courthouse and was therefore unavailable The trial court excluded the testimony because it had been taken solely for discovery purposes and because Dr. Amico was not over 100 miles away from the district in which the courthouse sat. The exclusion of the deposition testimony led to the trial court’s grant of the defendants’ motion for a directed verdict.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Niemeyer, J.)

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