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Prior or Subsequent Acts or Conditions Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Cases Dealing With Prior or Subsequent Acts or Conditions.

Brien Roche

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Prior or Subsequent Acts or Conditions.For more information on the law of evidence see the pages on Wikipedia.   

Prior or Subsequent Acts or Conditions-Cases

2004 McMinn v. Rounds, 267 Va. 277, 591 S.E.2d 694.

In this civil action for assault and battery in which defendant pleaded self-defense, trial court erred in admitting evidence of a prior act of assaultive behavior on the part of the plaintiff. This prior assaultive behavior had occurred three and one-half years before this incident. In cases of who is the aggressor, evidence of recent acts of violence towards third persons ought to be received if connected in time, place, and circumstance with the incident in question. A single act is insufficient.

2004 Stottlemyer v. Ghramm, 268 Va. 7, 597 S.E.2d 191.

In this medical malpractice action, plaintiff sought to cross-examine defendant doctor about prior negligent acts and problems with credentialing. Trial court properly disallowed this. Rule is well-established that cross-examination about collateral independent facts are irrelevant. The test of whether a matter is material or collateral in regards to impeachment is whether the cross-examining party would be entitled to prove it in support of its case. In this instance, these prior acts would not be subject to proof in support of the plaintiff’s case and therefore, they were properly excluded.

1998 Atkinson v. Sheer, 256 Va. 448, 508 S.E.2d 68

In this medical malpractice action defendant doctor attempted to show breach of standard of care by non-party physician after taking over care of plaintiff from this defendant. That was not relevant. In order to relieve defendant from liability for his negligent act, negligence intervening between defendant’s negligent act and injury must so entirely supersede defendant’s negligence that it alone, without any contributing negligence by defendant in slightest degree, causes injury. That was not case here and therefore it was error to admit that evidence.

1998 A.H. v. Rockingham Publishing Co., 255 Va. 216, 495 S.E.2d 482.

When evidence of prior occurrences is sought to be introduced to establish foreseeability of unreasonable risk of harm to others, trial court must determine whether there is substantial similarity. In this sexual assault case brought by paper carrier against newspaper, plaintiff proffered chart prepared by Harrisonburg police officer summarizing facts in five “non-carrier” assaults that occurred prior to assault on plaintiff. Trial court properly excluded that evidence along with proffered testimony of two other police officers who investigated assault upon this plaintiff and also prior assaults.

1996 Cherry v. DS Nash Constr. Co., 252 Va. 241, 475 S.E.2d 794.

Motor vehicle accident. VDOT report as to contractor’s prior conduct was not relevant and should not have been admitted.

1994 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Hughes, 247 Va. 113, 439 S.E.2d 44.

Plaintiff injured while inspecting brakes on train at night. He tripped over crosstie. No evidence presented that employer knew or should have known of defective condition and as such no jury issue created. No evidence presented from which inference could be drawn about the condition of the cross-tie or the cause of that condition.

1984 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Baker, 226 Va. 527, 311 S.E.2d 766.

Evidence of existence of defect after accident tends to show that defect existed before accident. Facts in present case, however, do not justify such inference since evidence indicated that reasonable inspection would not have disclosed any such defect.

1980 Kay Mgt. Co. v. Creason, 220 Va. 820, 263 S.E.2d 394.

Question of whether Beard was employee of defendant. Prior acts of Beard, and who supervised him, were relevant to this issue.

1976 WTAR-Radio-TV v. Virginia Beach, 216 Va. 892, 223 S.E.2d 895.

Previous course of conduct may raise inference that such conduct will be repeated.

1969 Hagan v. Hicks, 209 Va. 499, 165 S.E.2d 421.

Auto accident. Witness testified as to condition of lights on truck and position of truck shortly before accident. Prior or subsequent existence is evidential of later or earlier one and it has been spoken of as presumption.

1966 Guill v. Aaron, 207 Va. 393, 150 S.E.2d 95.

Defendant’s vehicle skidded on ice. Evidence showed that investigating officer also skidded on ice when he arrived at scene of accident.

1966 Hall v. Hockaday, 206 Va. 792, 146 S.E.2d 215.

Evidence that lights were not on after accident, is evidence they were not on at time of accident.

1963 Roanoke Hosp. Ass’n v. Hayes, 204 Va. 703, 133 S.E.2d 559.

Plaintiff claimed that patient was violent and that defendant knew of it. Witness testified for plaintiff that beginning two days after plaintiff’s accident, he had observed patient in sudden violent episodes. Defendant objected to its admission but asked for no limitation on its admissibility. Held: admissible to establish that defendant had notice prior to date stated by defendant.

1959 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Sykes, 200 Va. 541, 106 S.E.2d 734.

Railroad crossing case. Police officer testified that warning device at crossing operated perfectly about hour after accident when another train came along. Signal maintainer also testified that device was operating satisfactorily when he tested it shortly after accident.

1952 Burton v. Oldfield, 194 Va. 43, 72 S.E.2d 357.

Where witness has identified plaintiff’s vehicle as not having headlights on shortly prior to accident, such evidence should have been admitted as to issue of whether lights were on.

1951 Sadler v. Lynch, 192 Va. 344, 64 S.E.2d 664.

Prior similar situations admitted apparently to establish notice.

1950 Interstate Veneer Co. v. Edwards, 191 Va. 107, 60 S.E.2d 4.

Evidence of speed of vehicle three-fourths mile from accident scene was relevant.

1949 Edwards v. Hobson, 189 Va. 948, 55 S.E.2d 857.

Fire case. Evidence failed to establish that exposed condition of wire caused fire or that fire caused exposed condition.

1948 Voight v. Reber, 187 Va. 157, 46 S.E.2d 15.

Trial court allowed witnesses to testify to fact that lights on rear of truck were burning when they arrived at scene after accident.

1945 Brown v. Armstrong, 184 Va. 586, 35 S.E.2d 800.

Intersection accident case involving defective traffic lights. Police officer testified that immediately after accident he checked traffic lights and they were working for westbound traffic.

1945 Keen v. Harman, 183 Va. 670, 33 S.E.2d 197.

Location of motor vehicle, when it comes to rest after being out of control, is immaterial. See Judicial Notice, § 17.38.

1943 Reid v. Boward, 181 Va. 718, 26 S.E.2d 27.

In action growing out of auto accident, evidence of conditions leading up to and surrounding accident which will throw light on conduct of parties is admissible.

1942 Butler v. Greenwood, 180 Va. 456, 23 S.E.2d 217.

Trial court properly excluded evidence as to manner in which vehicle was being driven 900 to 1000 feet from accident scene.

1942 Richmond v. Best, 180 Va. 429, 23 S.E.2d 224.

Plaintiff’s vehicle skidded on ice. While occupants of plaintiff’s vehicle were being removed, another vehicle skidded.

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Prior or Subsequent Acts or Conditions Cases Summarized By Personal Injury Lawyer

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