Tag Archives: Comparative Fault

Richard Bedor v. Michael Johnson, 2013CO4 (January 22, 2013)

The Sudden Emergency Doctrine is now abolished in Colorado. So held the Supreme Court in this case. This decades-old doctrine instructed that people confronted with a sudden unexpected circumstance are not required to use the same judgment as under normal circumstances. In 2011, the Court seemed to re-affirm the doctrine. But, as pointed out in one dissent, nothing has changed since 2011. The doctrine of stare decisis would normally maintain the established rule; but not here. The facts were this: car slid on a patch of ice and hit another car. The jury was given the sudden emergency instruction and found for Defendant; the court of appeals affirmed. After finding it was an error to give the instruction, the Court abolished the rule. Noting that juries already assess the reasonableness of actions under the circumstances, the Court held it is no longer useful and may be misleading.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2010/10SC65.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8805&courtid=2

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