Virginia's Judicial System


Appeals Granted


Case

MICHELLE C. HARMAN, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF JOSEPH A. GRANA, III, DECEASED, ET AL. v. HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC.
(Record Number 130627)

From

The Circuit Court of Chesterfield County; H. Gill, Judge.

Counsel

Roger T. Creager (The Creager Law Firm, PLLC), John C. Shea and Mark S. Lindensmith (Marks & Harrison, P.C.) and Anita Porte Robb and Gary C. Robb (Robb & Robb LLC) for appellants.

Patrick R. Hanes, Turner A. Broughton and Joseph R. Pope (Williams Mullen) and Michael G. McQuillen, Austin W. Bartlett, John M. Kelly and Nicole L. Simmons (Adler Murphy & McQuillen LLP) for appellee.

Assignments of Error

  1. The trial court erred in overruling the Administrators' objections to the introduction into evidence of the hearsay "Mooney Report" and testimony regarding its contents.
  2. In closing argument, Honeywell International, Inc. ("Honeywell") asserted that there was a complete absence of prior similar incidents; the trial court erred in overruling the Administrators' objections to Honeywell's arguments which violated both the pretrial limine Order and Virginia law.
  3. The trial court erred in refusing to grant the Administrators' jury instruction that there may be more than one proximate cause of a crash and proximate cause need not be proved with such certainty as to exclude all other possible causes.
  4. The trial court erred in allowing William Abel, who was not present at the airfield, to testify that he "had some concerns about the [pilot's] judgment taking off into conditions based on the weather that - that was reported to me" and to give other testimony which was inadmissible because it lacked a sufficient foundation, was tainted by missing variables, speculative, based on hearsay, improper opinion testimony, improperly prejudicial, irrelevant, and invaded the province of the jury.
  5. The trial court erred in allowing Robert Norman, a co-owner of the airplane in question, who had a very different level of training, qualifications, and experience from the deceased pilot, to give extensive testimony regarding his subjective feelings and experiences concerning flying the Mooney airplane and another airplane; this testimony was inadmissible because it lacked sufficient foundation and was irrelevant, subjective, conclusory, improper opinion testimony, and grossly prejudicial.

Date Granted

  12-13-2013