Sudden Emergency Defense Abolished in Colorado

Bloch & Chapleau Feb 22nd, 2013 Personal Injury

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.

Bloch & Chapleau specializes in personal injury cases, including auto, trucking, motorcycle, ski/snowboard, dog bite, and slip and fall claims.