Brown v. Davis, No. 15-1009 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, Kyle Brown's widow, filed a wrongful death action against Kenneth Davis, Jr., William Davis, and WDL. Ken was driving the truck, that fatally hit Kyle, for his uncle William and WDL. The complaint asserted negligence based on Ken's driving and William's failure to block oncoming traffic. A jury returned a $3 million verdict for plaintiff and her two children. The court concluded that the district court correctly instructed on general negligence principles, and there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that William had a legal duty to take appropriate precautions; the evidence of William's failure to stop traffic and of his misleading signal to Ken was sufficient for the jury to find that William failed to exercise ordinary care; there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict that William acted negligently and caused the death of Kyle Brown; and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendants' motion for a new trial where defendants' counsel opened the door for the allegedly prejudicial statement by counsel for plaintiff, and the statement at issue was not unwarranted given the context, nor was it clearly injurious. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.