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AMI 601 Violation of Statute, Ordinance, or Regulation as Evidence of Negligence

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 601
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 6. Specific Factors Affecting Negligence and Defenses
AMI 601 Violation of Statute, Ordinance, or Regulation as Evidence of Negligence
There [was][were] in force in the [State of Arkansas][and][City of ] at the time of the occurrence [a] [(number)] [statute(s)][ordinance(s)][regulation(s)], which provided:
(Quote or summarize applicable section)
[First:]
[Second:]
[Third:]
[Etc.:]
A violation of [this] [one or more of these (number)] [statute(s)][ordinance(s)][regulation(s)], although not necessarily negligence, is evidence of negligence to be considered by you along with all of the other facts and circumstances in the case.
NOTE ON USE
If more than one statute, ordinance, or regulation is given, insert the total number to be given in the spaces marked “number.”
Portions of the statute, ordinance, or regulation not applicable to the facts in the case must be deleted. Harkrider v. Cox, 230 Ark. 155, 321 S.W.2d 226 (1959).
Use AMI 913 and 914 in cases involving emergency vehicles.
Do not insert any statutory rule which embodies the standard of ordinary care. See AMI 901.
This identical instruction also appears as AMI 903.
COMMENT
This instruction is a correct statement of the law. Bridgforth v. Vandiver, 225 Ark. 702, 284 S.W.2d 623 (1955). Where supported by the evidence, it should be given. McMickle v. Griffin, 369 Ark. 318, 254 S.W.3d 729 (2007) (statutory requirements regarding vehicle permit, lighting, and speed).
The following are examples of situations in which it was proper to use this instruction: Koch v. Northport Health Services of Arkansas, LLC, 361 Ark. 192, 205 S.W.3d 754 (2005) (Code of Federal Regulations governing nursing homes); Berkeley Pump Co. v. Reed-Joseph Land Co., 279 Ark. 384, 653 S.W.2d 128 (1983) (violation of Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-107); Franco v. Bunyard, 261 Ark. 144, 547 S.W.2d 91 (1977) (violation of federal gun control law); Dunn v. Brimer, 259 Ark. 855, 537 S.W.2d 164 (1976) (OSHA safety regulation); Bussell v. Missouri Pac. R. Co., 237 Ark. 812, 376 S.W.2d 545 (1964) (I.C.C. safety regulation). Since a private right of action is now provided for in Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-113(f) for an alleged violation of Ark. Code Ann. § 4-88-107, the Committee notes that there is a question whether the use of Section 4-88-107 with this instruction is still appropriate.
The following are examples of situations in which it was not proper to use this instruction: Fryar v. Touchstone Physical Therapy, Inc., 365 Ark. 295, 229 S.W.3d 7 (2006) (unauthorized practice of chiropractic medicine); Cincinnati Life Ins. Co. v. Mickles, 85 Ark. App. 188, 148 S.W.3d 768 (2004) (action involving allegations of deceit); Orsini v. Larry Moyer Trucking, Inc., 310 Ark. 179, 833 S.W.2d 366 (1992) (violation of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct); Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. v. Stracener, 239 Ark. 1001, 395 S.W.2d 745 (1965) (violation of company rule not establishing a standard of care).
The Arkansas statute restricting admissibility in civil actions of evidence of seat-belt nonuse, Ark. Code Ann. § 27-37-703, was held unconstitutional on separation-of-powers grounds in Mendoza v. WIS Int’l, Inc., 2016 Ark. 157. Mendoza decided only the constitutional question, certified by a federal district court, and did not rule on such evidence’s admissibility. The court reasoned that the statute was a rule of evidence and hence a rule “of pleading, practice and procedure,” which “falls within this court's domain,” rather than a matter of substantive law for the legislature. Id. at 5.
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