I’m still trying to wrap my head around SCOVA’s recent opinion in Lucas v. Riverhill Poultry, Inc.
Lucas seems to say that a plaintiff who fails to move the trial court to reconsider an interlocutory ruling has waived the issue for appeal.
That strikes me as patently wrong–and not in an academic way, but in a way that will cause real-world problems.
So I’m going to try to work my way through this. Follow along and tell me what I’m missing.
Lucas follows a defense verdict in a motor-vehicle-accident case. A farm-use truck owned by Riverhill Poultry ran off I-81, killing its two occupants, Lucas and Hilliard. Lucas was found outside the vehicle. Hilliard was found in its cab with his hand on the steering wheel. Hilliard worked for Riverhill, and Lucas was his “friend and neighbor.”
Lucas’s personal representative sued both Riverhill and Hilliard’s personal representative. She argued that Hilliard was driving the truck, while the defendants insisted that Lucas was the driver. (Based on these two paragraphs alone, I have . . . questions? . . . about this theory of the case. But the defense lawyers involved are both very good–and both straight shooters–so who knows.)
The plaintiff’s theory of the case was that Hilliard fell asleep at the wheel. She wanted to support this with evidence that he had a sleeping disorder and, at the time of his death, had drugs in his system that could cause drowsiness. All that seems reasonable enough. Continue Reading Lucas v. Riverhill Poultry, Inc.: SCOVA Announces Brutal New Waiver Rule