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01/26/76 BATES v. CITY DETROIT

January 26, 1976

BATES
v.
CITY OF DETROIT



Appeal from Wayne, Dunbar Davis, J.

Leave to appeal applied for.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ. T. M. Burns, J., concurred. J. H. Gillis, P. J. (dissenting).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. Trial -- Verdict -- Appeal and Error -- Judge's Discretion.

A trial Judge is given wide latitude in the conduct of a trial, and a verdict will not be reversed by an appellate court if the trial Judge properly exercised his discretion.

2. Trial -- Jury -- Leaving Courtroom -- Judge's Discretion.

A Judge may allow a jury to leave the courtroom, when necessary, to hear testimony; therefore, allowing rebuttal testimony to be taken in a plaintiff's hospital room following unforeseen surgery during the trial was not an abuse of discretion.

3. Jury -- Voir Dire -- Judge's Discretion -- Display of Physical Injuries -- Prejudice.

The latitude of voir dire examination is largely within the discretion of the trial Judge, and a Judge properly refused to grant a mistrial after the display of the plaintiff's injured hand, which was the basis of the claim; the Judge could properly conclude that the display of physical injuries during voir dire for determining possible juror bias was not overly prejudicial.

4. Continuance -- Refusal to Grant Continuance -- Judge's Discretion.

Refusal to grant a continuance near the end of a trial was not an abuse of the trial Judge's discretion where the defendant requested the continuance to secure a handwriting expert to verify a signature on a report; the defendant sponsored the document and therefore should have been prepared to vouch for its authenticity.

5. Negligence -- Contributory Negligence -- Directed Verdict -- Jury Question.

A defendant's request for a directed verdict based upon the plaintiff's contributory negligence was properly denied where, viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, there is no doubt that reasonable men could differ in resolving the question of ...


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