Where security camera footage showed that plaintiff pulled onto the road when defendant’s approaching vehicle was clearly visible, plaintiff was at least 50% at fault for the resulting car accident, despite the fact that defendant was going at least twenty miles per hour over the speed limit.
In Cryer v. City of Algood, Tennessee, No. M2020-01063-COA-R3-CV, 2022 WL 150854 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2022), plaintiff was driving his vehicle with his wife in the passenger seat. When he pulled onto the road, attempting to cross two lanes of traffic and a turning lane, his vehicle was struck by a police cruiser driven by Officer Ferguson, who was employed by defendant city.
Plaintiff filed this negligence suit and defendant counterclaimed, also raising the defense of comparative fault. During a bench trial, the evidence showed that the police cruiser was in the left lane and had just passed a black car that was traveling in the right lane. Security camera video showed, however, that at the time plaintiff began pulling out, the cruiser was visible on the straight road. Evidence also showed that the cruiser was traveling at least 60 miles per hour while the speed limit was 40 miles per hour, and that the officer did not brake until a short time before impact. Plaintiff’s wife testified that she was talking to plaintiff when he pulled onto the road, and that shortly before this she had told him to put on his seatbelt.