Bloch & Chapleau News
Sudden Emergency Defense Abolished in Colorado
Defendants in negligence lawsuits in Colorado used to be able to ask the jury to excuse their conduct when the defendant was confronted with a “sudden emergency,” such as a patch of ice in the road. Not anymore. In a victory for personal injury plaintiffs, the Colorado Supreme Court abolished the sudden emergency defense in its January 22, 2013 opinion in Bedor v. Johnson, No. 10-SC-65, determining that the sudden emergency defense was misleading to the jury and had minimal value. Thus, defendants can no longer assert a sudden emergency defense to divert the jury’s attention to the supposed emergency, rather than the incident itself.