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Torts Keyed to Underwood
Burke v. Schaffner
Citation:683 N.E.2d 861 (Ohio Ct. App. 1996)
One day the plaintiff Gary Burke was struck by a pickup truck, which caused him to be pinned between the truck and a parked car. The pickup truck was driven by one Martine Malone. There was no dispute that the pickup truck accelerated suddenly. However, the cause of the acceleration was disputed. The plaintiffs argued that the defendant, who was seated directly beside the driver, negligently stepped on the accelerator as she moved on the front seat to make room for two other passengers getting into the truck, causing the truck to strike the defendant.
The plaintiff sued the defendant for negligence. At trial, the plaintiffs argued that the defendant was responsible for negligently pressing on the accelerator. The plaintiffs presented the testimony of Martin Malone, the driver, who testified that he did not step on the accelerator. The defendant rested without calling any witnesses. When the jury ruled in favor of the defendant, the plaintiffs appealed. The defendants argued that because the defendant failed to present any evidence to overcome her burden to demonstrate that she did not cause the harm, that the doctrine of alternative liability rendered the defendant liable.
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