Gross v. Dailey

Supreme Court of Alabama

Conecuh County | No. SC-2022-1007 | June 16, 2023

Disputed Jury Verdict in Vehicle Collision Lawsuit Leads to Appeal

In 2019, a collision occurred between Christopher D. Dailey and Selanmin Gross, leading Dailey to sue Gross and his auto-insurance provider for alleged physical, mental, and emotional injuries caused by Gross's alleged negligence. During the 2022 trial, contrasting accounts of the accident emerged, with Dailey highlighting Gross's truck's behavior and Gross attributing the incident to hydroplaning.

Post-trial, the jury presented contradictory verdict forms, favoring both parties but awarding no damages. Citing Alabama's stance on inconsistent verdicts in civil lawsuits, Dailey successfully sought a new trial. Gross, emphasizing the jury's oral confirmation of his innocence, filed an unsuccessful "Motion to Reconsider." He subsequently appealed, and the crux of the appeal hinges on determining the "official" verdict's nature—whether oral or written.

Though the court announced a verdict in Gross's favor, which was validated through juror polling, Dailey claims the jurors weren't adequately polled about the second verdict form. Dailey further asserts that an affidavit from a juror shouldn't be admitted, while Gross underlines the uniqueness of their case, pointing out past precedent cases differ from theirs in determining liability.

The trial court's order granting a new trial was reversed, and the trial court was instructed to reinstate the verdict in favor of Gross and to enter a judgment on that verdict.

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