TORTS: MOTOR VEHICLE NEGLIGENCE: INSURANCE: UNINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE: CIVIL PROCEDURE: DIRECTED VERDICT: APPEALS: INVITED ERROR: TRIAL COURT DID NOT ERR BY DIRECTING A VERDICT IN FAVOR OF UNINSURED MOTORIST CARRIER AFTER PLAINTIFF ABANDONED HER CLAIM AGAINST PHANTOM MOTORIST

Millsaps v. Kaltenbach, ___ So. 3d ___, 39 Fla. L. Weekly D2553 (Fla. 4th DCA December 10, 2014)

When the defendant, in a motor vehicle negligence case, alleged that he was not negligent because he was evading a phantom motorist when the collision occurred, the plaintiff amended her complaint to add her uninsured motorist carrier as a defendant. During the charge conference at trial, however, the plaintiff took the position that she did not want to blame the phantom motorist for the accident, and she did not object to jury instructions and a verdict form that treated the alleged negligence of the phantom solely as an affirmative defense. As a result, the trial court directed a verdict for the uninsured motorist carrier, and the appellate court affirmed because the error, if any, was invited by the plaintiff.

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