AUTOMOBILE NEGLIGENCE / PERMANENT INJURY / EXPERT TESTIMONY - SKERLICK V. GAINEY
In Skerlick v. Gainey, [Ms. 2080673, Feb. 5, 2010] __ So.3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed a judgment on a $30,000 jury verdict for personal injury plaintiff Gainey because Gainey failed to support her claim of permanent injury, on which the jury was charged, with testimony from any treating physician or other medical expert. At trial, Gainey testified as to her injuries and introduced her medical records but failed to present any medical expert testimony regarding the permanency of her injuries. The Court held that a plaintiff must introduce expert testimony to support a claim of permanent injury and held that it was not harmless error for the trial court to instruct the jury as to permanent injury without such testimony. The Court reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. Defendant Skerlick appealed on two other grounds, but failed to preserve those issues for appeal by failing to move for a judgment as a matter of law at the close of all the evidence even though she moved for a judgment as a matter of law at the close of plaintiff's case.