July 17, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Court Abolishes Sudden Emergency Doctrine Going Forward and Reverses to Correct Error in Trial Court’s Use of Instruction

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Bedor v. Johnson on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.

Negligence—Sudden Emergency Doctrine.

The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred in determining that the trial court correctly instructed the jury on the sudden emergency doctrine when competent evidence did not support the trial court’s decision to tender the instruction. Accordingly, the court of appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial. The Court also abolished the sudden emergency doctrine going forward, because the doctrine’s potential to mislead the jury greatly outweighs its minimal utility.

Summary and full case available here.

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