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Woodard v. Turnipseed

Mississippi Court of Appeals
784 So.2d 239 (2000)


Facts

Kenwyon Woodard, a minor, by and through his father (plaintiff), filed suit against John Turnipseed (defendant), seeking damages arising from an assault and battery Turnipseed committed with a broom against Woodard. Woodard was working as a milker at Turnipseed’s dairy farm. Woodard had previously been fired from the same position for failing to properly wash cows prior to milking. Turnipseed witnessed Woodard making the same error again and immediately terminated his employment. Turnipseed claims that when he fired Woodard the first time, Woodard told Turnipseed he would “get him.” Turnipseed stated that Woodard again made verbal threats. Nevertheless, Turmipseed handed Woodard off to the foreman and returned to oversee the milking process. Woodard unsuccessfully attempted to telephone his father for a ride home. While he waited, Woodard sat in the farm’s parking lot. Turnipseed noticed Woodard remained on the premises, walked over to him, and told him to leave. Woodard did not move. Turnipseed then retrieved a broom and struck Woodard three times with it, causing serious injuries. At trial, Turnipseed argued that he acted out of fear of Woodard and responded in self-defense and defense of his property. The jury held for Turnipseed. Thereafter, the trial court denied Woodard’s motions for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) or, in the alternative, for a new trial. Woodard appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sharp, J.)

Concurrence (Southwick, J.)

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