POST-JUDGMENT MOTIONS - CLAYTON V. LLB TIMBER CO., INC.
In Clayton v. LLB Timber Co., Inc., [Ms. 1091427, Jan. 14, 2011] __ So. 3d __(Ala. 2011), the Supreme Court of Alabama reversed a jury verdict in favor of the defendants and remanded the cause for a new trial. This case arose out of an automobile accident between Darryl Clayton and a driver for LLB Timber. LLB Timber defended that the accident was not a result of its driver's negligence, but rather a result of a mechanical failure of the brakes on its truck. Over Clayton's objection, the trial court gave the Alabama Pattern Jury Instruction on mechanical failure. APJI 26.14. At trial, LLB Trucking argued that if its driver's testimony is to be believed, there is no other explanation for the moving of his truck other than a mechanical failure of his brakes to have occurred. The Supreme Court of Alabama held, however, that LLB Trucking failed to present any evidence that a mechanical failure had occurred. Therefore, there was no basis for the trial court giving the mechanical failure instruction.