Marshall v. PeterAnnotate this Case
Mid-afternoon on an icy early March day, plaintiff Michele Marshall was stopped at a stoplight preparing to turn left from the outside turn lane. Defendant Matthew Peter testified that he came to a complete stop about one-half car length behind her. After about 30 seconds, the light turned green, Marshall began to move forward, and Peter released his foot from the brake. But Marshall stopped sooner than Peter expected; Peter returned his foot to the brake, attempted to stop, and slid into Marshall’s vehicle. He testified that his car “just tapped the back of her car” at a speed that “couldn’t [have] be[en] more than three miles an hour.” He had yet to place his foot on the accelerator. Marshall contended that no reasonable juror could have found Peter not negligent and that the superior court therefore should have granted her motion for a directed verdict on liability. After review of this matter, the Supreme Court concluded that the jury reasonably found the driver behind not negligent, and therefore affirmed the denial of the motion.