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12/18/75 ARMSTRONG v. LEBLANC

December 18, 1975

ARMSTRONG
v.
LEBLANC



J. W. Fitzgerald, J. T. G. Kavanagh, C. J., and Williams, Levin, and Coleman, JJ., concurred with Fitzgerald, J. Lindemer and Ryan, JJ., took no part in the decision of this case. Williams, J. (concurring).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. Motions -- Directed Verdict -- Question of Fact.

The proper test for determining whether a plaintiff should be granted a motion for directed verdict is whether reasonable men could reach different Conclusions from facts taken in the light most favorable to defendant; if so, the question should be resolved by the jury.

2. Automobiles -- Negligence -- Question of Fact.

The question of a defendant truck driver's negligence was for the jury in a case where he was traveling at 30 to 35 miles an hour within a 65-mile-an-hour speed zone, the road conditions were hazardous, and defendant attempted to avoid colliding with plaintiff, who he last observed standing on the shoulder of the road leaning over talking into the window of a parked car nearest the defendant, by moving his truck to the left when approximately 200 feet from the point of collision, and where plaintiff's testimony indicated that he was standing on the edge of the highway; were the jury to believe plaintiff's testimony, it cannot be said that no reasonable person would hold defendant free of negligence.

3. Automobiles -- Assured Clear Distance -- Statutes.

The assured clear distance statute was inapplicable where a defendant truck driver attempted to avoid striking the plaintiff by steering his vehicle toward the left; whether he was traveling at a proper speed under the existing conditions which would permit him to stop prior to striking the plaintiff was not at issue (MCL 257.627).

4. Automobiles -- Negligence -- Contributory Negligence -- Subsequent Negligence.

A sufficient question of fact for the jury was presented on the issue of plaintiff's contributory negligence and the doctrine of subsequent negligence where a truck driver was traveling at 30 to 35 miles an hour within a 65-mile-an-hour speed zone, the road conditions were hazardous, defendant attempted to avoid colliding with plaintiff, a state police officer who was standing at the side of the road talking to another driver that he had just pulled over, and at no time did the plaintiff look toward defendant's oncoming truck, nor did he attempt to remove himself from the path of the approaching vehicle.

5. Negligence -- Subsequent Negligence -- Proximate Cause.

The doctrine of subsequent negligence considers any antecedent negligence by a plaintiff which places him in a dangerous position a remote cause of any injury he may suffer where the proximate cause of the injury is attributable to the subsequent intervening negligence of the defendant; however, where plaintiff's negligence is concurrent with that of defendant, the doctrine may not be invoked and plaintiff's contributory negligence will prevent recovery.

6. Negligence -- Subsequent Negligence -- Dangerous Position -- Question of Fact.

In future cases which consider the doctrine of subsequent negligence, the requirement that plaintiff be in a dangerous position or situation will be expanded by permitting the jury to examine the facts and determine whether, while in this position of peril, he knew, or had reason to know, of a course of action which might have been taken to extricate himself from his position.

Concurring ...


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