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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Torts: Motor-Vehicle Accident-Liability for Accident in Backed-up Traffic-Proximate Cause

Torts: Motor-Vehicle Accident-Liability for Accident in Backed-up Traffic-Proximate Cause

Plaintiffs appealed from the district court’s adverse grant of summary judgment in their motor-vehicle negligence claim. Plaintiffs sought damages from Roy Brice, who rear-ended a vehicle; the accident caused a severe backup on the highway. Plaintiffs were caught in the traffic jam and were rear-ended by another vehicle, driven by Kim Ross.

Where the back-up did not cause Ross to drive in excess of the speed limit or impair his ability to see the traffic jam ahead nor was it foreseeable that the traffic jam would cause another accident, there was no proximate cause to impose liability upon the driver who caused an initial accident that led to the traffic jam.

Judgment is affirmed.

Simler v. Dubuque Paint Equipment Services Inc. (MLW No. 74116/Case No. 18-3315 – 4 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Stras, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Webber, J.