Appellate Court reinstates negligence claim arising out of car-deer collision: may not have been a "sudden emergency."
The Wayne County Circuit Court summarily dismissed Geninice Champion's negligence case against the driver and owner of the car in which she was injured. She was badly hurt when the driver lost control after attempting to avoid a deer. The testimony established two diametrically opposed accounts of the incident: the question became whether the driver had more than ample time to slow down after seeing the deer, and whether he could have avoided the serious injuries if he had responded "reasonably." The Court termed the incident a classic "sudden emergency" and summarily dismissed Champion's negligence claim. The higher court reversed, pointing out that jurors could reasonably conclude that the injuries were caused by the driver, Jenkins', delay in taking reasonable action. It also stressed that credibility cases are not decided by summary disposition.