The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Cranfill Sumner’s client, a local school board, in a bodily injury suit filed by a former student-athlete. The student-athlete sustained injury when a vehicle hit him as he walked to football practice on a service road. The student-athlete knew that vehicles used the road. He also admitted that he could have walked on the grass beside the road. The student-athlete, nonetheless, walked down the road with his back to traffic, his headphones on, and he danced as he made his way down the road.

In a published decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment and ruled that the plaintiff’s contributory negligence could not be disputed on the record evidence. It also held that the student-athlete did not overcome his contributory negligence by showing gross negligence by the school board.

The opinion confirms that contributory negligence is alive and well in North Carolina. It also shows that, with the right record, contributory negligence can be established on summary judgment and affirmed on appeal.

Archie v. Durham Public Schools, No. COA21-313. Read the Opinion HERE.

The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or law firm's past results.