NASHVILLE (CN) – Too many questions exist to clear two men from a wrongful death lawsuit, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled.
Ryan Cody Downs, 18, died after being hit by two cars on Interstate 65. He had been drinking heavily, and his friends stopped their pickup truck to let Downs get out and vomit.
Downs exited the back of the truck and was killed. The trial court and court of appeals granted the defendants summary judgment, but Justice Barker reversed, stating there were issues of material fact that had yet to be resolved.
The record is unclear, as Downs’ friends gave conflicting testimony of whether they placed Downs in the truck or whether Downs climbed in by himself.
Another question is whether the defendant owed a duty of care to Downs. A jury could find that they did if he was helpless and they placed him in the cab.
Barker remanded the case to the trial court.