PLL #20: Jury Generosity, Appellate Intervention and Poor Cross-Examination

August 16, 2006 Advisory

A recent California intermediate appellate court decision provides a good example of appellate court intervention to correct extreme jury generosity which may have been prompted by a risky cross-examination question. The case, Buell-Wilson v. Ford, arose out of an SUV rollover accident which left the driver with multiple severe injuries including paraplegia due to spinal cord injury. The driver and her husband claimed that their 1997 Ford Explorer was unstable and uncrashworthy.