Lawsuit over dragstrip injury kept alive | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lawsuit over dragstrip injury kept alive

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 2:23 PM

For the second time, the Arkansas Court of Appeals has reversed a summary judgment in favor of Wayne and Patty Styles, owner of the Centerville Dragway, which was sued by a racing fan injured when she fell from bleachers on account of what she believed was an unsecured plank.

The court had earlier reversed a summary judgment that held the plaintiff, Susan Ver Weire, who suffered multiple ankle fractures, had signed a liability release form. The court held that didn't protect the owners of the dragstrip from acts of negligence. In the latest appeal, the court reversed a summary judgment that Ver Weire couldn't sustain a claim of negligence. 

The property owner has a duty to provide reasonable care of premises for visitors, the court said.The court said the plaintiff had provided testimony about a loose bleacher board. The defendants said they'd inspected the bleachers and found no problem. Though material facts were not in dispute, the court said reasonable jurors could reach a different conclusion on whether the defendants had provided safe premises.

Back to Pope Circuit Court.

Here's today's opinion.

The Court of Appeals today also affirmed the negligent homicide conviction of Michael Gene Fowler, sentenced to 40 years in a 2012 drunk hit-and-run accident that killed a 12-year-old in Faulkner County. He argued that the state hadn't proved he had a blood alcohol level of .08 at the time of the accident. But a blood test three hours later showed him at .16. That was sufficient  to meet the statute's requirements on a blood alcohol level within a four-hour time frame, the court said.

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