Bad Jury Instructions Revive Calif. Motorist's Injury Suit

Law360 (July 11, 2019, 9:09 PM EDT) -- A motorist who hit a freeway barrier after swerving to avoid a flying mattress had her suit revived when a California state appeals court said the jury that heard the case received misleading instructions.

The appellate court's Tuesday decision centers on the question of whether the jury instructions in Mackenzie Baker-Smith's case should have included a so-called excuse instruction, which states that a violation of a law should be excused if there was no way to obey it despite using reasonable care.

Writing for the appellate panel, Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr. said the trial court should not have given this...

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