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WPI 12.03 Unavoidable Accident

6 WAPRAC WPI 12.03Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6 Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 12.03 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part II. Negligence—Risk—Misconduct—Proximate Cause
Chapter 12. Specific Factors Affecting Negligence and Contributory Negligence
WPI 12.03 Unavoidable Accident
(The WPI Committee recommends that no instruction be given on this subject.)
Because of the great possibility of prejudice arising in the usual case from the giving of such an instruction, the WPI Committee recommends that no instruction should ordinarily be given and that the matter be left to argument of counsel.
The Washington Supreme Court has never reversed a trial court for refusing to give a defendant's requested instruction on unavoidable accident. Handler v. Osman, 60 Wn.2d 800, 802, 376 P.2d 439 (1962); Cooper v. Pay-N-Save Drugs, Inc., 59 Wn.2d 829, 835, 371 P.2d 43 (1962). On the other hand, the court has held that it is error to give the instruction. Martin v. Kidwiler, 71 Wn.2d 47, 50, 426 P.2d 489 (1967); Van Ry v. Montgomery, 58 Wn.2d 46, 48–49, 360 P.2d 573 (1961); Pakka v. Fitzpatrick, 53 Wn.2d 356, 357–58, 333 P.2d 917 (1959); Brewer v. Berner, 15 Wn.2d 644, 650, 131 P.2d 940 (1942). For a discussion of the problematic nature of this instruction, see Cooper v. Pay-N-Save Drugs, Inc., 59 Wn.2d at 835, and Zook v. Baier, 9 Wn.App. 708, 714–16, 514 P.2d 923 (1973).
[Current as of September 2018.]
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