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NEGLIGENCE - DUTY OWED - MILLER V. CLECKLER

In Miller v. Cleckler, [Ms. 2090195, June 11, 2010] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed, in part, a summary judgment in favor of the defendant, holding that the conflicting testimony regarding actions taken by various individuals in a four-car accident were for the trier of fact to resolve. In addition, the defendant argued, in part, that he owed no duty to plaintiff because there was no case law or statute stating that "a driver has a duty to look behind him before he stops for traffic." The Court chose to "comment" on this argument, stating: "Even if a motorist complies with all the requirements of a statute or ordinance regulating the operation of motor vehicles, he may yet be liable for the failure to exercise ordinary care to avoid injury to another traveler in front or behind him on the highway." Id. (quoting Cox v. Miller, 361 So. 2d 1044, 1046 (Ala. 1978) (other citations omitted). Therefore, the Court concluded, the trial court could not grant Defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that he owed no duty to plaintiff. The Court upheld summary judgment on the plaintiff's wantonness claims.

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