Manifest Error Rule Cases In Louisiana

A court of appeal may not set aside a trial court's finding of fact in the absence of manifest error or unless it is clearly wrong. Reasonable evaluations of credibility and reasonable inferences of fact should not be disturbed upon review, even though the appellate court may feel that its own evaluations and inferences are as reasonable. To reverse a fact finder's determination, the appellate court must conclude that a reasonable factual basis for the finding of the trial court does not exist in the record. Stobart v. State Dept. of Transp. & Development, 617 So. 2d 880 (La. 1993). The task of a reviewing court is to assess whether the fact finder's resolution of conflicting evidence was reasonable in light of the entire record. Fowler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 30,843 (La. App. 2d Cir. 8/19/98), 716 So. 2d 511. Pursuant to Watson v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Ins. Co., 469 So. 2d 967 (La. 1985), the trier of fact will compare the relative fault of the parties in the assessment of liability. The law of comparative negligence is applicable to situations involving automobile accidents. Ortigo v. Merritt, 488 So. 2d 1051 (La. App. 2d Cir. 1986). The allocation of fault is a factual determination subject to the manifest error rule. Hundley v. Harper Truck Line, Inc., 28,613 (La. App. 2d Cir. 9/25/96), 681 So. 2d 46.