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Lopez v. United States

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

June 26, 2015

Manny Lopez, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
United States of America, Defendant - Appellee, Shea Pyron, Defendant

Submitted April 17, 2015.

Page 868

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis.

For Manny Lopez, Plaintiff - Appellant: Ryan Bradley, Patrick T. Hinrichs, The Bradley Law Firm, Saint Louis, MO.

For United States of America, Defendant - Appellee: Christina Bahr Moore, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jane Berman Shaw, U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO.

For Shea Pyron, Defendant: Daniel Wilke, Wilke & Wilke, Saint Louis, MO.

Before MURPHY, COLLOTON, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 869

MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

Manny Lopez brought this negligence claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § § 2671-2680, arising from a traffic accident between a vehicle in which he was a passenger and a United States Postal Service tractor trailer driven by Robert Cleveland. The only live witnesses at a trial to the district court[1] were Lopez and St. Louis police officer Janet McKern who had responded to the accident; Cleveland had meanwhile died from unrelated causes. After trial the court rejected the claim by Lopez that Cleveland's negligence caused the accident, and judgment was entered for the United States. Lopez moved for a new trial, the

Page 870

motion was denied, and he now appeals. We affirm.

I.

At approximately 9:45 PM on August 13, 2009 Lopez was traveling north on Tucker Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri in a Volkswagen Beetle driven by Shea Pyron. The lane in which they were driving ended at the intersection of Tucker Boulevard and Washington Avenue, and Pyron merged into the lane where Cleveland's ...


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