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Boyle v Christensen

Case No. 20090822 (UT S.Ct., Apr. 15, 2011)



INTRODUCTION

Mr. Boyle was hit by a truck and injured while walking in a crosswalk. Mr. Christensen, the driver, admitted liability, but the case went to trial on damages. Not satisfied with the jury award, Mr. Boyle appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the district court decision in all respects. Mr. Boyle sought certiorari review regarding three issues. He argues that (1) the district court provided inadequate voir dire questioning, (2) opposing counsel’s improper reference to the “McDonald’s coffee case” in closing argument warrants reversal, and (3) Mrs. Boyle’s related loss of consortium claim was improperly dismissed. We hold that the court of appeals was correct in deciding that Mr. Boyle did not properly preserve the voir dire issue for appeal, because he neither objected to the district court’s voir dire questions nor asked for additional questions when he could have done so. However, the court of appeals incorrectly affirmed on the other two issues. We conclude that the reference to the McDonald’s coffee case was irrelevant and improper. We reverse and remand for a new trial because, under the circumstances, the reference had a reasonable likelihood of influencing the jury verdict to Mr. Boyle’s detriment. We also find that the dismissal of Mrs. Boyle’s loss of consortium claim was improper, because there were disputed issues of fact (or at least disputed reasonable inferences therefrom) as to whether there was a qualifying injury as defined by statute.

BACKGROUND

Appellants Mr. and Mrs. Boyle are husband and wife. Mr. Boyle was hit by a truck while walking in a crosswalk in a grocery store parking lot. Mr. Boyle sustained injuries that led to back surgery. For months he could not work and therefore lost his job. He now suffers from chronic pain that has multiple consequences, including an inability to sleep through the night, sleep in a bed, drive for extended periods, work an eight-hour day, or perform certain work-related tasks such as lifting two buckets of golf balls at once. He is now working for a new company in the same general industry he worked for before and for the golf shop where he worked before the injury, but with modified income potential and reduced abilities (mentally because of the lack of sleep and constant pain, and physically because he is unable to lift buckets of golf balls, drive for extended periods, or work a full eight-hour shift). He was once a professional golfer, and the back injury has also affected his golf game.

Mr. Boyle brought a negligence action against Mr. Christensen, who admitted liability. The case went to trial on the question of appropriate damages. Before trial, Mrs. Boyle also brought a claim for loss of consortium, which the district court dismissed. The grounds for dismissal were that Mrs. Boyle could not show that Mr. Boyle had suffered a qualifying injury under Utah Code section 30-2-11(1).

In the jury selection process, both parties submitted voir dire questions. The judge combined and revised the questions, omitting some of Mr. Boyle’s questions that addressed jurors’ views on tort reform issues. It is unclear from the record (and disputed in the briefs before this court) whether the district court provided copies of its own voir dire questions to the parties before it began questioning the potential jurors. During the jury selection process, Mr. Boyle’s counsel neither objected to the omission of any questions nor asked for additional questions, even when given the opportunity to do so. Mr. Boyle does not dispute that no such attempt was made either before the jury or in the judge’s chambers.
 

 

Judge(s): Christine M. Durham
Jurisdiction: Utah Supreme Court
Related Categories: Damages , Torts
 
Supreme Court Judge(s)
Christine Durham
Matthew Durrant
Thomas Lee
Ronald Nehring
Jill Parrish

 
Trial Court Judge(s)
Tyrone Medley

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
Scot Boyd
Roger Christensen
Karra Porter

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Pamela Beatse
Jeremy Knight
Kristin VanOrman

 

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days of mcdonald's coffee sales. shari seidman see greenlee, supra, at 71819; see also angelos, supra, at or hearing the district court's revised questions. subset of the definition. if these were the only consortium claims to was inadequate. however, we conclude that the improper firmed. boyle v. christensen, 2009 ut app 241, 219 p.3d 58. the the trial court has an opportunity to rule on that issue. commencement speech, 27 u. balt. l.f. 19, 21 (1996); michael perform some of the same tasks he could perform before may, in parties interpreted the words "and includes" (which follow that opinion of the court mcdonald's case reduced the ultimate verdict. mr. boyle's counsel 3 issue must be raised in a timely fashion[,] (2) the issue legal authority. issues that are not raised at trial are appropriate, but "alleged deficiencies in voir dire must [have been] closing argument had a reasonable likelihood of prejudicing the 4 p.3d 143. 2 appellants mr. and mrs. boyle are husband and wife. mr. generally provided in closing argument, and the extreme nature of marks omitted); see also utah r. app. p. 24(a)(5)(a) (requiring an warranting reversal. (i) a partial or complete paralysis of one or kerry christensen, counsel gave no indication of his objection during voir dire. boyles then petitioned this court for certiorari review. we have certain circumstances, constitute an injury under the statute. where . . . case is the size of the verdict and the source of the injury--$2.9 court of appeals on this issue. aside, the other criteria that must be met . . . ." cite as: 2011 ut was inadequate. the claim was not preserved because mr. boyle's attempted to ask for additional questions after being presented with factors alone would have been enough to overturn the verdict. but (or at least issues of the reasonable inferences properly to be drawn surgery. for months he could not work and therefore lost his job. list. appellant's brief to contain a "citation to the record showing that standard of review usually deemed waived. from its language, no other interpretive tools are needed." state v. cite as: 2011 ut temperature of its coffee. see marc galanter, an oil dire . . . that party may . . . propose additional because it believed the extreme temperature of the of his life. and how much per day is that worth? that's more common definitions of loss of consortium. see id. at 328. had opinion of the court 12 in spite of this rule, mr. boyle argues that (1) the tort opinion of the court the mcdonald's coffee case during closing arguments was im- such a significant injury to mr. boyle that it substantially changed presented a new issue to the parties: did the revised questions formulated questions before the district court decided on its own analysis that could have convinced the jury it was similar to the days, underwent skin grafts, was disabled for two reference to the mcdonald's coffee case in mr. christensen's were mistaken that there also needed to be issues of fact about at i. mr. boyle failed to preserve the have properly limited counsel's reference to the rodney king a. the reference to the mcdonald's coffee case was improper 29 we affirm the court of appeals' decision that mr. boyle plaintiffs and appellants, sufficiently address both parties' concerns and legal entitlements? case at hand when it was not; and (4) the size of the pain and unnecessary. it is sufficient that a party, at the time the boyle v. christensen judge had finished his original questioning of the jurors and before his assent to the composition of the jury, that party may still be reasonable inferences in dispute (derived from the 13 in arguing that his submitted tort reform questions frivolous lawsuits and win hugely excessive sums in a broken legal dire questions. the judge combined and revised the questions, not raise his concern. furthermore, both counsel met with the 8 "on certiorari, we review the court of appeals' decision therefrom) as to whether mr. boyle had suffered a qualifying court for a new trial. issue for appeal, he should not have approved the jury without holding he did not preserve the jury voir dire issue for appeal. the issue was preserved in the trial court"). where parties fail to mccann, william haltom & anne bloom, java jive: genealogy of a 35, 29 p.3d 638). finally, "a trial court's ruling on a motion to questioning during the voir dire process before affirmatively including an inability to sleep through the night, sleep in a bed, punitive damages statute: who's being punished, 9 regarding voir dire questions at the time of voir dire so that the 1 mr. boyle was hit by a truck and injured while walking in the same "types of jobs" he could perform before the injury under opinion of the court java world: images, issues and idols in the debate over tort reform, 26 22 given the uniquely iconic nature of this case, the passion roger p. christensen, karra j. porter, scot a. boyd, injury, we agree that mrs. boyle's claim was erroneously dismissed. include" rather than "includes." the structure of the statute also mr. boyle's counsel immediately objected that the reference to this jurisdiction under utah code section 78a-3-102(3)(a) (supp. 2010). 2 misconceptions about this irrelevant case in the limited time details and issues in the case may dramatically alter one's inadequate questioning in voir dire. because any error by the prejudice him. definitions of "incapacity" and "types of jobs." we agree with the voir dire issue for appeal kristin a. vanorman, jeremy g. knight, pamela e. beatse, omitted). here, the plain language defines an injury as "a there was a reasonable likelihood of a more utah code section 30-2-11(1). 6 the jury verdict was for a total of $62,500. the jury 3 cite as: 2011 ut likelihood of influencing the jury verdict to mr. boyle's detriment. jury `for cause,' the court of appeals is conflating the peremptory mcdonald's coffee case had nothing to do with a per diem analysis. store parking lot. mr. boyle sustained injuries that led to back 10 boyle v. christensen referred for the first time in trial to the mcdonald's coffee case. mr. background boyle v. christensen opinion of the court former. second, mr. boyle argues that the reference to the such injury as not been said. but we are not required to make that determination objected to the district court's voir dire questions nor asked for 17 hot--180 to 190 degrees--that within seconds it caused court to take or his objection to the action of the court state v. knight, 734 p.2d 913, 920 (utah 1987) (quoting strickland v. case has come to symbolize greedy plaintiffs and lawyers who file worked before the injury, but with modified income potential and reach the latter point because we affirm the court of appeals on the analysis 13 meaning. . . . [i]f the plain meaning of the statute can be discerned it has produced in the media, and the general misunderstanding of 9 scribed below, we agree with mr. boyle that the reference here was analysis of spahr v. ferber resorts, llc, that "[r]ather than being ruling or order of the court is made or sought, makes approving the jury selected. in approving the composition of the jury and producing a less favorable outcome for mr. boyle. we discretion standard. id. 8 (quoting green v. louder, 2001 ut 62, salt lake city, for defendant (alterations in original) (citations omitted) (internal quotation cannot challenge the composition of the jury on appeal. media. it has been mocked in extremely popular entertainment 7 greenlee, supra, at 71922. been the product of entirely rejecting a per diem analysis in definition) to introduce an exhaustive list of examples. this was mcdonald's coffee case in closing argument was improper and there was no opportunity to object or request additional questions and read each term according to its ordinary and accepted compared to a drop of ink placed in a vessel of milk. it cannot long boyle v. christensen cannot be expected to second-guess that silence. it is not disputed in the briefs before this court) whether the district court counsel for mr. christensen acknowledged that there must "be buttocks and groin area. she was hospitalized for eight misses the point. the problem is that mr. boyle never registered an dismissed. the grounds for dismissal were that mrs. boyle could noted but overruled. asking the attorneys whether they had challenges for cause. significant permanent injury to a person that substantially changes (ii) significant disfigurement; or cite as: 2011 ut pain, and physically because he is unable to lift buckets of golf warranted, the test is whether "absent the improper argument, both improper and reasonably likely to prejudice the jury, thus 8 21 although the public view of the case is understandable 11(1)(a)" but accepted the parties' erroneous interpretation for mr. boyle appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the district need to reach this question,8 dismissed her loss of consortium claim. the district court did so, each juror. when asked whether he had challenges for cause, mr. insufficiently addressed tort reform, nor did he seek additional attorney merely objected to the judge in a sidebar. 2009 ut app 35, ii. defendant's counsel's allusion to the before the injury. 8 certain work-related tasks such as lifting two buckets of golf balls at appealing to a jury's passions. it is not the jury's job to make legal coffee was unreasonably dangerous and that this opinion is subject to revision before final 7 mr. and mrs. boyle appealed, and the court of appeals af- economic damages, and $27,800 for noneconomic (or pain and in eliminating his proposed tort reform questions. we need not wide-ranging and repeated publicity in national and local news because, as explained above, while formally known as liebeck v. mcdonald's restaurants, p.t.s., inc.5 process. 4 whether they were ready to proceed. however, even if he did not his lifestyle.9 in closing it has been debated on talk shows, parodied in television 4, 204 p.3d 204. this case is distinguishable in that mr. boyle's possibility toward greater probability that the statement had some mcdonald's coffee case: (1) the iconic nature of the case that has exclude a claim where impotence was at issue, thus providing no incorrect. when "including" precedes a list, its common usage is to mcdonald's had callously disregarded the danger mcdonald's coffee case in closing argument was improper. trial court." id. 9 (internal quotation marks omitted); j.s. v. p.k. guage and "presume that the legislature used each word advisedly injury under the relevant consortium statute. has the same type of job. inability to work the same hours or was based on the approximate revenues from just two said the following: plaintiff's life, mr. boyle's life. that i would [agree] is in dispute in at least disputed reasonable inferences therefrom) as to whether ____________ a crosswalk. mr. christensen, the driver, admitted liability, but the received approximately 700 other complaints about loss of consortium claim balls, drive for extended periods, or work a full eight-hour shift). claim was improperly dismissed. because there were issues of fact after reviewing the transcript of the jury selection in this case, we cite as: 2011 ut boyle v. christensen strike in hell: contemporary legends about the civil boyle's counsel could have registered his concern. indeed, when cap. u. l. rev. 701, 70203 (1997). "what made the headlines and be improper because they divert the jury from its duty to base its or efforts to appeal to a jury's passions. thus the reference to the challenges regarding "`whether remarks made during closing "[t]he spouse of a person injured by a third party . . . may maintain the intent to influence the jury, whether it had a reasonable 14 the problem with this reasoning is that the district court's opinion of the court afforded an opportunity to correct the error (1) the appeal." boyle v. christensen, 2009 ut app 241, 7, 219 p.3d 58. obligation to notify the district court so it could examine the issue. comments meant to inflame passion or prejudice in the jury would discharging the remaining panel members, this qualified as an disfigured with scars on over 16 percent of her body. conclude that the reference to the mcdonald's coffee case was court of appeals incorrectly affirmed on the other two issues. we 7 whether the parties are correct in their interpretation of section 30-2- the case referenced here is a new mexico lawsuit, liebeck v. and all inferences and deductions it supports." id. however, that 30 associate chief justice durrant, justice parrish, justice be seen, but it surely remains there to pollute its contents." pearce v. cite as: 2011 ut to a person that substantially changes that person's lifestyle." in questions, or ask the court for further questioning. but ____________ 21; brian timothy beasley, north carolina's new he was once a professional golfer, and the back injury has also material that the jury would not be justified in considering in its disagree. we find there were multiple opportunities for an vided inadequate voir dire questioning, (2) opposing counsel's reasonable opportunities to do so. if he had wanted to preserve the issues in this case, we refer to the current version of the statute. "ruling or order," and mr. boyle had already submitted differently should be sufficient alone to preserve the issue on appeal, and (2) appeals' decision on this point and remand the case to the district nehring, and justice lee concur in chief justice durham's opinion. brought a claim for loss of consortium, which the district court therefore reverse and remand for a new trial. on remand, mrs. 2010 ut 14, 20, 228 p.3d 747. failed to preserve for appeal the claim that voir dire questioning boyle v. christensen wistisen, 701 p.2d 489, 494 (utah 1985). the court of appeals thus dire issue for appeal, we should apply a plain error review. we will voiced his concern when the district court judge asked both parties mcdonald's coffee case remarks. we therefore reverse the court of attorneys: determinations, so no legal arguments from the case are relevant. the impact of this statement by explaining that the judge in the response to the mcdonald's coffee case comparison. interpret the list of examples as just that--examples that satisfy the remarks during closing arguments, we will reverse only if "absent ____________ review for each issue in this case. for challenges to the trial court's 606, 615 (utah ct. app. 1997) (explaining that the trial court may (2) the fact that the trial judge did not sustain the objection, thus $370,000 for pain and suffering-- a total of $458,724. list of voir dire questions did not constitute a "ruling or order" as objections regarding inadequate questioning and then affirmatively public outrage over isolated elements of the case--thus improperly record upon return to the courtroom.3 least one of the three examples provided by the statute. and his grounds therefor; and, if a party has no chief justice durham, opinion of the court: essential part of a job in a routine manner must suffice to make one awarded $29,700 for past economic damages, $5,000 for future case, the improper reference had a reasonable probability of 9 the court of appeals outlined the proper standards of undisputed facts) that must be left to the jury. aroused such public passion, as described earlier in this opinion; question of appropriate damages. before trial, mrs. boyle also advance copy of the district court's revised questions (a fact publication in the pacific reporter registering an objection at some point during the jury selection should have found an abuse of discretion in allowing the number of factors convince us there was a reasonable likelihood of "reasonable likelihood" that there was actual prejudice in the as we have stated: opinion of the court perspective. among the many relevant facts generally missing from affected his golf game. court decision in all respects. mr. boyle sought certiorari review failed to preserve for appeal the claim that voir dire questioning the course of the proceeding. for a trial court to be the court of appeals actually "express[ed] no opinion on to the district court's voir dire questions because they constituted a allowing the jury to believe it was proper to consider the regarding three issues. he argues that (1) the district court pro- furthermore, the parties' definition would, for example, likely must be specifically raised[,] and (3) the challenging the facts in the mcdonald's coffee case were not in evidence before conclusion ____________ the types of jobs the person performed the statute. see utah code ann. 30-2-11(1)(a)(iii). we do not asked whether he had further questions of that same juror, he did addressed in the district court's new questions, he had an opportunity to object to a ruling or order at the time it a significant permanent injury that substantially changed the opinion of the court counsel to refer to it before a jury. generally, as here, such a economic damages, $31,790 in future economic damages, and this been the legislature's intent, we believe it would have stated so boyle's claim for loss of consortium should be reinstated because jury, he was implicitly approving the process by which the jury had system. see, e.g., peter g. angelos, commentary, 1996 spring it is certainly unfair to require the other party to clarify all the warranted reversal. we agree that, under the circumstances in this affecting the outcome to mr. boyle's detriment, thus requiring a (n.m. dist. ct. aug. 18, 1994), which is referred to as the type of industry as before the injury would not necessarily mean he television, including the tonight show, the late show, and seinfeld. hard to imagine a scenario where it would be proper for a party's be honored, the overlying definition would be superfluous. been selected. we have stated that passed the jury for cause4 affirmative representation that there were no objections based on 11 the court of appeals correctly concluded that mr. boyle (2) the jury heard evidence that mcdonald's had 975. coffee-burn injuries in the previous decade (some of prejudicial; his objection was noted but overruled. in the limited suffering) damages. mr. boyle had asked for $56,934 in past irrelevant and improper. we reverse and remand for a new trial be- 14 "latitude does not extend to counsel calling the jury's attention to the following: diamond, truth, justice, and the jury, 26 harv. j.l. & unreasonable to require attorneys to voice concerns they have cause, he stated, "yes, to the extent we've questioned the jurors." the totality of its facts and reasoning among the public, we find it these factors are sufficient to convince us that there was at least a we do note, however, that in interpreting this standard the misrepresentation because the high punitive damages award in the 19 here, during closing argument, mr. christensen's counsel salt lake city, for plaintiffs where a party affirmatively expresses to the trial court thisdoesnotqualifyasregisteringanobjectionwherecounselnever formal exceptions to rulings or orders of the court are arguments. . . . to fully discuss from their perspective the evidence when limited to a superficial view of its facts, a deeper look at the washington, 466 u.s. 668, 694 (1984)). it falls somewhere on a ____________ industry he worked for before and for the golf shop where he registered a relevant objection. defendant and appellee. dismiss [is reviewed] for correctness, according no deference to the case went to trial on damages. not satisfied with the jury award, for cause, she said she wanted to further question one of the jurors not show that mr. boyle had suffered a qualifying injury under reform questions that he submitted to the judge before voir dire those terms are used in rule 46. voir dire questions cannot be fully 15 mr. boyle claims that even were he required to make allotted for closing argument. the great latitude provided in (iii) incapability of the person of performing error applies and denies appellate review. lee, 2006 ut 5, 1620; 5 during closing argument, mr. christensen's counsel case was "prejudicial and . . . not in evidence." his objection was 3 mr. boyle brought a negligence action against mr. 6 what's been done here. that's how we get verdicts like opinion of the court the honorable tyrone e. medley parties invite error where they affirmatively represent to the court opinion of the court spectrum between absolute certainty of influence on the verdict accommodate both sides. the district court's new questions in order to preserve an issue for appeal[,] the issue not do so because, "where the appellant affirmatively proclaims the (1) the temperature of the spilled coffee was so incapable of performing that job under the statute." 686 f. supp. 2d favorable outcome for mr. boyle ____________ iii. it was error to dismiss mrs. boyle's 780 p.2d 1221, 1225 (utah 1989). granting a new trial is an extreme 23 it is a difficult task to rewind the clock and determine time allowed for mr. boyle's response, his counsel tried to mitigate negative influence on the verdict for mr. boyle. taken together, them to remain silent and appeal later. this approach conserves sandy city recorder, 2005 ut 41, 39, 122 p.3d 521 ("the boyle's abilities post-accident could constitute "incapacity" to do remedy for loss of sexual relations between spouses--one of the claim was improper, because there were disputed issues of fact (or but considered the number of injuries statistically improper reference to the "mcdonald's coffee case"1 15 party must introduce supporting evidence or relevant 438 main st. v. easy heat, inc., 2004 ut 72, 51, 99 p.3d 801 john boyle & norrine boyle this. a lot of money. what's been written on the board each additional factor takes us further on the spectrum from mere he now suffers from chronic pain that has multiple consequences, on the record regarding the denial of his tort reform questions--the harker, 2010 ut 56, 12, 240 p.3d 780 (internal quotation marks per diem analysis in determining damages. mr. boyle's counsel indicate a partial list. see black's law dictionary 77778 (8th ed. 6 asserted error and allows for correction at that time in opposing counsel was asked whether she had additional challenges third-degree burns that extended through the skin to justice system, 40 ariz. l. rev. 717, 732 (1998); 2004). had the legislature wished to limit the definition of injury to counsel made to make her reference seem relevant was a when mr. boyle's counsel was asked if he passed the jury for mcdonald's coffee case during cite as: 2011 ut utah code ann. 30-2-11(2) (supp. 2010).7 no. 050912506 district court can immediately address the issues, rather than allow an action against the third party to recover for loss of consortium." opinion of the court registered his concerns with the judge in this conference, and, if the 2011 ut 20 that person's lifestyle." utah code ann. 30-2-11(1)(a). the brought to the district court's attention in order to be preserved for position because in that case the attorney did not place an objection supports this interpretation because the examples are listed as a invited error, we refrain from a plain error analysis and affirm the opinion of the court exhaustive."). 10 first, mr. boyle claims that the court of appeals erred in because the rodney king officers were found guilty, the officers in anyway?, 74 n.c. l. rev. 2174, 2190 (1996). (in re adoption of i.k.), 2009 ut 70, 7, 220 p.3d 464. opinion of the court 17 mr. boyle has argued that opposing counsel's reference to some objection, he was given no reasonable opportunity to do so. because statements were improper. there must be a showing of a object to inadequate questioning in voir dire, the district court 25 we need not and do not decide whether any of these pub. pol'y 143, 14647 (2003). 5 we also find that the dismissal of mrs. boyle's loss of consortium more of the extremities; which were settled for a total outlay of over $500,000), purposes of the opinion. boyle v. christensen, 2009 ut app 241, 21 court of appeals was correct in deciding that mr. boyle did not boyle v. christensen properly before the jury and does not extend to misrepresentations a significant permanent injury to a person that sub- record to be preserved for appeal. state v. lee, 2006 ut 5, 18, 128 p.3d 1179 (citation omitted). using the same logic, mr. boyle cannot approve the composition of the district court and court of appeals were too narrow in their for correctness." magana v. dave roth constr., 2009 ut 45, 19, 215 objection at any point in the proceedings, even when he had receive the questions in advance, he heard the questions posed to and for-cause phases of jury selection. . . . [t]ort reform questions are should be sufficient to preserve the appeal, mr. boyle relies on id. 30-2-11(1)(a). closing arguments regards reasonable inferences about evidence in the utah rule of civil procedure 46: it began questioning the potential jurors. during the jury selection referred to mr. boyle's requested pain and suffering damages and 12 christensen, who admitted liability. the case went to trial on the explain the cultural context of the mcdonald's coffee case, more mr. boyle argues that "by penalizing mr. boyle for passing the limited and extraordinary way, then, being unable to engage in an the improper argument, there was a reasonable likelihood of an stating that he had no objection to questioning. here, the district court accepted questions from both defined until after the voir dire process is completed. until that mcdonald's coffee case and the case at hand involved an effort at a and warrants reversal ladies and gentlemen, they want a lot of money for attempt was made either before the jury or in the judge's chambers. in the mcdonald's case with a cup of coffee. presumably, if mr. boyle's counsel had concerns about making disputed by the parties and unclear from the record), he could have v. this case, opposing counsel conceded in a hearing before the district the public consciousness are the following: the remedy of granting a new trial, we will not reverse simply incident if it "were an attempt to inflame the jury or suggest that views on tort reform issues. it is unclear from the record (and only the three listed scenarios, it could easily have stated "must district court regarding inadequate questioning was therefore court that there were facts in dispute regarding whether there was juridical icon, 56 u. miami l. rev. 113, 115 (2001). lodged in the public consciousness. mark b. greenlee, kramer v. argument improperly influenced the verdict'" also an abuse of objection or request for additional questioning. if mr. boyle had an 1214, 1220 (d. utah 2010). the fact that mr. boyle works in the same reasonable likelihood of a more favorable verdict for mr. boyle opinion of the court suffering damages awarded by the jury, which certainly could have argument warrants reversal, and (3) mrs. boyle's related loss of and the mere possibility of such. see brown v. div. of water rights, years following the accident, and was permanently management of jury voir dire, an abuse of discretion standard was must be presented to the trial court in such a way that the fat, muscle or bone on ms. liebeck's thighs, literally and completely incapable of doing a job even in a most supreme court of the state of utah likelihood of actually doing so is the question at issue. here, a once. he is now working for a new company in the same general this case were also guilty of using excessive force"), aff'd, 973 p.2d commercials, mentioned in congressional debates, and is firmly judicial resources and promotes speedy justice for all concerned.2 million for spilled coffee." id. at 718. in u.s. popular culture, the definition previously stated, but not an exclusive list. see mouty v. that concession precluded dismissal. both parties stantially changes that person's lifestyle and includes and was allowed to do so. even when mr. boyle's counsel was 1 (3) the jury awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages proper and warrants reversal. where counsel makes improper probability sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome.'" drive for extended periods, work an eight-hour day, or perform furthermore, he argues that the district court abused its discretion 11 new trial. third, mrs. boyle argues that her loss of consortium process, mr. boyle's counsel neither objected to the omission of any "mcdonald's coffee case" throughout this opinion. a better verdict for mr. boyle absent the improper reference to the this requirement puts the trial judge on notice of the legislature's use of the word `includes' indicates that the whether a jury verdict might have been different had some things pertinent to the exercise of peremptory challenges." this argument this case so there are issues of fact on that. however, taking that see also state v. hamilton, 2003 ut 22, 54, 70 p.3d 111 (noting that mr.boylehasarguedthatbeev. anheuser-busch,inc. supportshis there are issues of fact in dispute regarding whether there was an cite as: 2011 ut during voir dire. we disagree. did not explain how the facts of the case had been misrepresented. is called a per diem analysis. . . . how many days has it interpretation of the statute at issue.6 see supra note 1. mcdonald's rests., p.t.s., inc., no. cv-93-02419, 1995 wl 360309 boyle was hit by a truck while walking in a crosswalk in a grocery that they have no objection). when mr. boyle's counsel made no relying on this rule, mr. boyle claims he was not required to object the" complaining party. dibello, 780 p.2d at 1225. given the latitude and the court of appeals affirmed, based on an erroneous christensen's counsel incorrectly represented that both the public of this country as the mcdonald's coffee case, fueled by its the facts regarding present and previous jobs are not disputed, there omitting some of mr. boyle's questions that addressed jurors' 24 although the improper reference was likely made with additional questions when he could have done so. however, the few cases have ever achieved as much notoriety among the general 2 reference would seem to have the sole purpose of recalling the n.3, 219 p.3d 58. introduction 26 mrs. boyle argues that the district court erred when it provided copies of its own voir dire questions to the parties before counsel never objected that the district court's questions [subsequent] examples listed were not necessarily meant to be 4 in the jury selection process, both parties submitted voir clearly. because the statute does not say "must include," we consortium claim was improperly dismissed. we hold that the what is most commonly recalled by the general populace about the the statute defines opinion of the court remedy that we do not provide lightly, but, for the reasons de- verdict on the evidence presented. see, e.g., state v. alonzo, 932 p.2d misrepresentation of the mcdonald's coffee case as a per diem all that is required is that there was "a significant permanent injury insignificant and therefore did not lower the [i]f a party is dissatisfied with the thoroughness of voir been since the accident? how many days for the rest immediately objected that the case was not in evidence and was opportunity to do so. mr. boyle does not dispute that no such 5 no. 20090822 mcdonald's coffee case when deciding the verdict; (3) the opinion of the court meeting this standard would be sufficient to constitute an injury, boyle v. christensen known to the court the action which he desires the b. absent the improper reference to the mcdonald's coffee case, point, the district court may agree to additional or revised because there has been no substantive change that affects the this jury and were also utterly irrelevant. indeed, the one attempt there was a reasonable likelihood of an outcome more favorable to absent the improper reference. the erroneous reference "might be ____________ jury and later challenge the process used to select it unless he has 16 acceptability of the jury in the trial court," the doctrine of invited properly preserve the voir dire issue for appeal, because he neither even after hundreds of injuries. the $2.7 million figure cause, under the circumstances, the reference had a reasonable is made, the absence of an objection does not thereafter verdict." state v. alonzo, 973 p.2d 975, 981 (utah 1998). for example, judge were unrelenting, he could have placed his objection on the 27 when interpreting a statute, we look first to its plain lan- 18 we grant both sides "considerable latitude in their closing district court judge in chambers during a recess as soon as the outcome more favorable to the" complaining party. state v. dibello, reduced abilities (mentally because of the lack of sleep and constant on certiorari to the utah court of appeals questions nor asked for additional questions, even when given the if mr. boyle believed the tort reform issues had been inadequately parties, and then constructed its own questions in an effort to closing argument was improper however, we also clarify that an objection must be made on the 28 the parties argued at length over whether changes in mr. outcome. we have defined the words "reasonable likelihood" as "`a there was a qualifying injury as defined by statute. legal arguments to the judge before the jury, he could have filed april 15, 2011 20 before we analyze this statement, it may be useful to third district, salt lake in absolute terms. instead, to determine whether reversal is 16 mr. boyle has argued that if he did not preserve the voir the relevant statute states that


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