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Saxton v. Scully, 2011 WL 4377524 (Del.).

The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the final judgment of the Superior Court in admitting photographs of the plaintiff's vehicle and in denying plaintiff's motion for a new trial. This personal injury case arose from an automobile collision between co-defendants' vehicles. Plaintiff alleged that her vehicle was impacted as a result of that collision, causing her injuries. The underlying decision allowing the photographs into evidence held that the photographs were admissible to assist the jury in determining the factual dispute as to whether the plaintiff's vehicle was struck as a result of the accident, and if it was struck, whether it was struck by defendant's vehicle or by construction debris being ejected from the defendant's vehicle. Further, the trial court found Davis v. Maute, 770 A.2d 36 (Del. 2001) inapplicable to the facts of this case, as the use of the photographs was not an attempt to correlate severity of vehicle damage, or lack thereof, to the severity of bodily injury.

The underlying decision denying plaintiff's motion for a new trial held that the jury's determination as to liability and damages did not shock the court's conscience. As to liability, the court found the jury's verdict in favor of both co-defendants was supported by the conflicting evidence at trial regarding whether an impact occurred to plaintiff's vehicle. As to damages, the court found the jury's verdict was supported by the evidence at trial of plaintiff's pre-existing injury. It is important to note that the court was unable to determine whether the jury's decision was premised upon liability or damages, as the special verdict form combined the concepts of fault and causation into a single question: "Do you find the defendant...was negligent in a manner proximately causing injury to plaintiff...?"


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