Ripple v. Brack

In Ripple v. Brack, 132 Colo. 125, 286 P.2d 625 (1955), the plaintiff and defendant were also involved in a head-on collision on an icy road. During cross-examination of the investigating officer, defendant asked whether he had charged plaintiff with a traffic violation and whether he had checked to see what plea plaintiff entered on the charges filed against him. When plaintiff objected to these questions, defendant indicated he could obtain the information from another witness. Defendant ultimately withdrew his question about the traffic citation, and no curative instruction was requested or given. On appeal, the supreme court concluded that, in asking about the existence of traffic charges and a plea thereto, defense counsel defeated the purposes underlying the statute, now codified at 42-4-1713, C.R.S. 1999, prohibiting evidence of traffic convictions in civil cases. In light of the apparent prejudice to plaintiff resulting from the questions, reversal was required.