Black Warrior Electric Membership Corp. v. McCarter, [Ms. 1110745, Oct. 19, 2012] __ So. 3d __(Ala. 2012). McCarter was shocked
while riding a piece of equipment under power lines owned and operated
by Black Warrior. The issue was whether the lines were lower than specified
in the National Electric Safety Code and whether Black Warrior had notice
that they were low. McCarter presented substantial evidence that the lines
were low, and he argued that evidence of notice was provided by the fact
that a Black Warrior employee drove under the lines at 6:30 that morning.
However, the Court held that McCarter's evidence that the lines were
low required drawing an inference of that fact and that to then infer
that the employee saw low lines as he drove under them that morning would
be to impermissibly draw an inference upon an inference. The Court also
held that the only evidence presented as to when the lines allegedly came
to be below NESC standards amounted to speculation and conjecture. The
trial court therefore erred in denying Black Warrior's motion for
a JML. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment on a jury verdict for McCarter.