Court upholds jury verdict despite insurance attorney's prejudicial reference to prior criminal conviction
Ryan Hunter brought a personal injury action against the Auto Club and Taylor Hines. The Defendants argued that Hunter was ineligible to recover damages for his injuries because he was driving an uninsured vehicle owned by him. (You can be an "owner" who loses statutory rights without holding title to the vehicle.) At the trial intended to determine whether Hunter "owned" the involved car, the insurance attorney illegally asked Hunter whether he had a felony conviction, and Hunter's attorney sought a curative instruction from the Judge.
The jury ruled against Hunter on the ownership issue and he appealed, arguing that the jury was prejudiced by the insurance attorney's improper questioning. The Court of Appeals rejected Hunter's appeal, holding that when his attorney sought a curative instruction from the Court at the time of the remark, the attorney's request and the Court's compliance "waived" Hunter's objection to the improper remark.