Evidence – Dead Man’s Statute – Interpretation of “Transaction”

Plaintiff was a passenger in an automobile which collided with one driven by defendant’s intestate. Both drivers were killed, and plaintiff sued defendant, administrator of intestate’s estate, for personal injuries, alleging negligence. There were no other eye-witnesses to the collision, and the trial court, relying upon the Alabama dead man’s statute, would not permit plaintiff to testify to any of the details or circumstances of the accident, or even to the fact that she had been involved in an accident with an automobile driven by the decedent. The jury found for defendant. On appeal, held, reversed. Plaintiff, passenger in an automobile with which decedent’s car collided, may testify to the pertinent facts in an action against decedent’s estate for personal injuries resulting from the collision. An accident between two automobiles does not constitute a transaction between the deceased driver of one automobile and a passenger of the other automobile, and, consequently the Dead Man’s Statute does not apply to disqualify the passenger from testifying. Gibson v. McDonald, (Ala. 1956) 91 S. (2d) 679.