JACKSON, Miss. (Legal Newsline) – The Mississippi Supreme Court has issued an en banc order granting a motion to clarify in a wrongful death case filed against an auto manufacturer.
Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr., ruled Jan. 18 to grant in part a motion to clarify the court's October 2017 remand order. The motion was filed by appellants Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Co. in a case filed by Ola Applewhite, Ceola Wade and Kenneth Cordell Carter, representing decedents Dorothy Mae Applewhite, Anthony Stewart, and Cecilia Cooper.
As stated in the order, "the parties are now ordered to proffer to the trial court all evidence they believe to be probative to all supplemental motions for new trial or for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b), for a post-trial hearing to investigate possible outside influences on the jury, and for other relief and the responses thereto, in order to fully supplement the record before this court."
Waller ordered, per the ruling, that "the parties are to present and the trial court is instructed to receive all evidence, along with objections, probative to the supplemental motion for new trial or for relief from judgment under Rule 60(b), for a post-trial hearing to investigate possible outside influences on the jury, and for other relief and responses thereto," and he also ordered the lower court to "to complete its Rule 606(b) hearings, ensuring jurors receive the protections specially afforded to them by Rule 606(b) and make findings of fact as provided by Rule 14(b) of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure."
Justices Michael Randolph, Josiah Coleman, Dawn Beam and David Ishee concurred to the order. Justices James Kitchens and Leslie King dissented. Justices James Maxwell II and Robert Chamberlin did not participate.
"I find the procedure that this court has contrived in response to Hyundai’s motion to clarify our Oct. 18, 2017, remand order to be highly irregular," Kitchens wrote.
"Because this court ordered a hearing to determine the ultimate issues under Rule 606(b), it is abundantly clear that we ordered the trial court to make a judicial determination concerning those issues and no clarification of the Oct. 18, 2017, order is needed."
Mississippi Supreme Court case number 223360