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MVA - Judgment as a Matter of Law

Fazzingo v. Orange and Keim TS, Inc., [Ms. 2171008, Feb. 8, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2019). This decision (Edwards, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore and Hanson, JJ., concur; Donaldson, J., concurs specially) reverses the Madison Circuit Court’s entry of a judgment as a matter of law dismissing plaintiff’s claims for negligence and wantonness at the close of her case alleging injuries caused in an automobile accident.

In reversing, the court noted that although the plaintiff’s testimony was conflicting and contradictory, entry of judgment as a matter of law was improper, because “any conflicting or contradictory testimony ... is to be resolved by the jury and not by the trial court.” Ms. *9.

The court also rejected the defense argument that defects in the plaintiff’s expert medical opinion testimony on causation supported entry of the judgment as a matter of law. The court noted that the physician’s testimony was admitted without objection and that “once expert testimony is admitted, ‘any challenge to the facts upon which an expert bases his opinion goes to the weight, rather than the admissibility, of the evidence.’” Ms. *9, quoting Baker v. Edgar, 472 So. 2d 968, 970 (Ala. 1985). The court emphasized that “[a]ny decision regarding the weight to assign to Dr. Shafran’s testimony is for the jury, not the trial court.” Ms. *11.

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