This tragic injury story happens all too often in South Florida: Someone is served alcohol, gets drunk, drives, and kills or injures someone on the road. We all know this kind of behavior is illegal. But often the question becomes what liability the bar has for serving the alcohol when the patron drives away and injures someone. (Note that the laws apply to any establishment serving alcoholic drinks, but for ease, we’ll just call them collectively, “bars.”)

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When Bars Serve Intoxicated Patrons

A patron has consumed loads of alcohol, and maybe even displays signs of intoxication. Yet, the bar continues to serve alcohol, knowing that someone has had too much, and will likely be getting into a car shortly. Is the bar liable if that person injuries someone?

When people talk about “tort reform,” they often say it like it’s a good thing. But here, tort reform has made it easier to put alcoholics on the road because the laws that allow a plaintiff to sue a bar for knowingly serving an intoxicated person (often called “Dram Shop” laws) are very tough in Florida for injured litigants.

Florida Statute 768.125 prevents anybody for being sued just because they served someone else alcoholic drinks. There are only two exceptions:

  • A person “willfully” serves someone underage; or
  • A person “knowingly” serves a patron “habitually addicted to the use of” alcoholic drinks.

Let’s look at these two “exceptions.”

Serving to Someone Underage

In the first exception, a bar owner has to “willfully” serve an underage patron to be liable. This means that if you sue a bar for serving a minor who ultimately caused an injury, you have to show that the server actually knew the patron was underage. A victim is left to prove the subjective knowledge of a person serving drinks. This is a very high burden. A bar simply being “mistaken” about someone’s age isn’t enough.

And a bar owner may rely upon appearance. If a 16-year-old looks older, acts older, or lies about his age, the bar may not be liable for injuries he causes.

Thankfully, some courts have instituted a “should have known” standard, meaning that a bar owner can’t remain purposely blind. A bar owner who is unsure of age and purposely does not ask for ID, for example, may still be held liable.

Often, photos of the underage patron are used, and the patron is deposed, to see what statements he or she made to the bartender. Ultimately it’s up to a jury to determine whether a bar willfully served someone underage.

Serving to Those of Legal Drinking Age

The second exception is even tougher. A bar has to not just knowingly serve too many drinks, but has to do so to someone habitually addicted to alcohol. Knowingly serving too many drinks to someone isn’t enough, even if the bar knows the patron is intoxicated. That patron has to have an addiction problem, and the bar has to somehow know about its patrons’ addiction habits to be held liable for injuries they cause.

DUI car accidents aren’t just criminal matters. You may have a right to recover damages for your injuries. We sue Miami and Dade County establishments that recklessly serve alcohol to those they shouldn’t. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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There are certain beliefs that we have about American justice that are crucial to an effective court system. One such belief is in the neutrality of our judges. That our judges will see our case impartially, without interference from public opinion, or their own personal beliefs. A recent case has upheld this idea, and it’s an important lesson in listening to what judges say while on the bench.

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Judge Makes Comments During a Hearing

The case doesn’t involve a personal injury, but rather involves an insurance coverage dispute. A homeowners’ association (HOA) sued its own insurance company after the insurance company claimed that the insurance policy did not cover the repair of falling concrete in a parking garage.

The insurance company asserted that because the HOA did not cooperate with them in their investigation of the problems, they had not yet agreed to pay for the damage.The HOA asserted they needed to have experts go and look at the property as well before agreeing to coverage.

In a hearing occurring before any trial, the judge made the comment to the attorney for the insurance company that his client should “fork over the money” if they haven’t denied coverage. The judge also stated that the insurance company had denied the claim, stated that he would sanction the insurance company, and stated that “This is not rocket science.…Ever since they put a piece of steel inside concrete they’ve been having these issues. It’s not a big deal.”

The court also advised the HOA’s attorneys, when they depose the insurance company’s expert, that “If it were me, I would still ask questions of an opinion nature and get the statements regarding privilege on the record.”

Appeal On Comments Ensues

The insurance company filed a writ (an appeal) to the appellate court, asking that the judge be disqualified from the case on the basis that he had clearly formed not just an opinion about the outcome of the case, but about the attorneys for the insurance company. It alleged that many of the judge’s comments suggested that he didn’t trust or believe the insurance company’s position—a determination that had to be made only at trial, when all evidence is presented, and not beforehand at a pretrial hearing.

A judge cannot become an “active participant” in litigation, or give advice to either party. The appellate court noted that here the court suggested that it would award sanctions to the HOA, even though the HOA hadn’t asked for them. Doing so was tacitly advising the HOA of what to do.

The same goes for the judge’s advice as to how and what kind of questions to ask at an expert’s deposition.

The court’s comments also constituted a predetermination as to what the facts will show, and a belief in facts that were not supported by any evidence at all, thus improperly turning the judge into a litigant, according to the appellate court.

Judges Are Crucial, Even With a Jury

It’s important to remember that even if your case will ultimately be tried by a jury, a judge still makes crucial determinations as to evidentiary issues, discovery of facts, jury instructions, and loads of other things that directly impact your ability to recover for injuries. Thus, preserving the neutrality of a court is vital.

Making sure you have an effective and fair trial starts long before the trial itself does. Make sure your attorneys are looking out for you from the very beginning. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your miami or South Florida injury case

By now most of our readers should know that where a crime is committed, there may also be an avenue for civil recovery, by suing the wrongdoer for damages. A recent case provides an interesting analysis as to what happens when a family member is killed by another family member, and a surviving spouse attempts to sue for damages as a result of that crime.

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A Tragic Familial Murder Case

The case is Cosman v. Rodriguez, and it involved the killing of a wife by her husband after fifty years of marriage. The husband was convicted of murder, but the wife’s surviving adult child tried to sue the husband for damages.

He sued both on behalf of his late mother’s estate, but also individually, for his own grief, pain, and suffering.

The problem was that Florida’s wrongful death act states in part that minor children can recover wrongful death damages from the death of a parent only if there is no surviving spouse. Here, of course, there was a surviving spouse—the murderous husband behind bars.

Thus, the husband argued, the son could recover nothing, because he was still alive. The trial court agreed, and dismissed the son’s wrongful death action.

Appellate Court Cites Probate Statute

But on appeal, the appellate court noted that the trial court did not apply an important statute in Florida’s probate code. That statute says that where a survivor kills the deceased, Florida’s probate code treats the situation like the survivor predeceased the dead person.

In plain language, it means that someone who kills another gets no benefits under Florida’s probate laws. You can’t kill your wife and expect to have her assets devised to you. The statute also says that “Any other acquisition of property or interest by the killer,” is treated in the same manner, thus extending the reach of the statute beyond the Probate Code into other areas, such as personal injury lawsuits.

Because it was presumed that the husband had died first, thus negating the language of the wrongful death statute, the appellate court reversed the trial court, and pushed the case back to the lower court to allow the son’s wrongful death case to continue.

Husband Tries Another Low Tactic

Adding to the charm of the husband, he also called another of his deceased wife’s sons, this one severely disabled, to testify at trial. The child was clearly not competent to testify.

The appellate court held that the only reason the disabled son was being called was to create sympathy with the jury, and that awarding damages against the husband would somehow hurt or affect the lifestyle of the disabled child. There was no evidence that the husband even supported the disabled child.

As many inter-familial problems tend to become, this dispute became very ugly. Still, from an academic standpoint, it does go to show that there are laws that prevent family members who kill others from profiting from their deeds, and that there may still be valid wrongful death claims for any surviving relatives or children.

Injury cases can be personal and sensitive, and may call into play statutes from other areas of law. You need attorneys that can give you a big picture analysis. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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When someone is injured, we normally think of suing a person or a company whose negligence was responsible for our injuries. But if you learned that ghosts—or, more legally proper, “phantoms”—could be responsible for injuries, you’d probably think we were joking.

But phantom defendants are far from funny. In fact, they can be a huge problem when they get involved in your injury case.

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How Phantoms Get Into Your Cases

Before we discuss phantom defendants, it’s important to understand how they get involved in cases in the first place.

Normally, an injured person sues the defendant responsible for their injuries. At that point, a defendant has the option of blaming someone else for the negligence that you allege they committed.

As an example, you may sue Publix for maintaining a slippery floor. In turn, Publix may blame a company that cleans their floors for them, saying, in essence, “if anybody is negligent, it’s not us—it’s them.” In everyday terms, we may think of this as “passing the buck,” because that’s really what it is. So, you’d add the cleaning company to the defendants named in your case.

But sometimes, the defendant believes someone is responsible, but it doesn’t know who that person (or business). This often happens in car accidents.

Let’s imagine a car swerves in front of you, causing an accident. You sue the other driver. That other driver then says that they swerved into your lane because a crazy motorcyclist was weaving and almost hit them, and that the motorcyclist is to blame for the entire accident.

The problem is, nobody has any idea who that motorcyclist is. You now have to sue the unknown motorcyclist, who becomes a “phantom” defendant.

Phantoms Can Cause Collection Problems

The problem with phantom defendants is that a jury can apportion liability to it. So if you are awarded $100,000 from a jury, but the jury believes the phantom defendant is 50% liable, that’s $50,000 you’re left to collect from someone who doesn’t exist.

Luckily, this is why we have (and suggest everyone carry) uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM coverage will pay you any amount that a phantom driver is liable to you for injuries (up to the limits of your UM coverage). If you don’t have UM coverage, you would have no way to collect against a phantom driver that a jury feels is liable for your injuries.

Problems can arise if an attorney isn’t careful. An attorney may feel like they don’t want to sue a phantom defendant, preferring to force the jury to apportion all liability to the known defendant. But opting not to sue a UM carrier can forever waive any claims against a phantom driver, leaving you unable to collect for liability apportioned to it, as one appellate case recently held.

Deciding whether to involve a UM carrier for the liability of a phantom driver is a tactical one, and UM time limits can be different than those involving suing a negligent party. Thus, an attorney should always be careful when he starts to hear a negligent defendant start to blame an accident on another, unidentified driver or company.

Knowing who to sue, and how to do it, can make or break a case. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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We often think that in lawsuits of any kind, including injury cases, that attorneys’ fees are automatically awarded to the prevailing party. But in our system, attorneys’ fees are only awarded where there is a contract or statute providing for them.

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In ordinary negligence cases, there is no provision for attorneys’ fees. A jury cannot award attorneys’ fees and a defendant is not obligated to pay them, even where the defendant was found liable by a jury.

But Florida has a unique fee-shifting statute that can be used to obtain attorneys’ fees. The problem is that it can also be turned around, and used to make injured victims pay the fees of negligent defendants.

Florida’s Offer of Judgment Statute

Florida’s Offer of Judgment (OJ) statute is a fee-shifting law, designed to make parties think long and hard about bringing a case, or defending a case which should be settled.

The OJ statutes allow a plaintiff to make an offer to settle a case to a defendant. But unlike traditional offers, those done under the statute may require a defendant to pay an injured victim’s attorneys fees if the judgment is 25% greater than the offer made.

So, for example, if a plaintiff offers $10,000 to settle the case, and the offer is rejected, and the jury ultimately awards more than $12,500 (the $10,000 plus 25%), the plaintiff will recover the judgment, plus any and all attorneys’ fees. (Remember that in a case without an OJ, a defendant does not have to pay attorneys fees to a plaintiff—it only has to pay the judgment.)

The same goes for a defendant. If a defendant makes an offer to settle, and the plaintiff ultimately recovers 25% less than the offer, the defendant can get attorneys’ fees from the plaintiff. So, for example, if a defendant offers $10,000 to settle and the offer is rejected, and the plaintiff eventually recovers less than $7,500 ($10,000 minus 25%), the plaintiff has to pay the defendant’s attorneys’ fees.

Statute Creates Risk of Victim’s Payment of Fees

The oddity here, is that it’s possible for a plaintiff to win a case, but owe a defendant money.

In the example above, where the defendant has offered $10,000, let’s assume a verdict is entered for $7,400—just less than the $7,500 threshold. The defendant is entitled to attorneys’ fees under the OJ statute.

If the defendant has $15,000 in fees, the plaintiff would owe $15,000 minus the $7,400 awarded to him—or, $7,600. The victorious plaintiff would come out with a judgment against him, owing money to the negligent defendant that caused the injury.

It’s an absurd result, but the statute was instituted to encourage settlements. What really happens is that the OJ statute is used as a weapon by defendants to intimidate suing plaintiffs. Plaintiffs who may have good cases, but are uncertain what a jury may award, may be hesitant to go forward, knowing they may owe money even if they win the case.

Good attorneys can use the statute to their advantage, and help you assess whether it’s wise to move forward in your claim or not. But as you can see, the OJ statute can have unanticipated consequences, and anytime an OJ is served, you should speak to your attorney about the benefits of accepting or rejecting it.

It’s crucial to have advice and counsel through all stages of the litigation process. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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We’ve written in the past about the importance of understanding what kind of cases are medical malpractice, and what kind are general negligence or products liability. A recent case has again discussed the difference, this time in a products liability context.

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Why The Difference Matters

The difference is important because of the mandatory medical malpractice pre-suit requirements. Florida law puts significant requirements on a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice that aren’t required for ordinary negligence or products liability.

In many cases it’s clear that the liability is based on malpractice. But often, the question is much more vague. And when an attorney assumes that a case involves ordinary negligence or products liability, and ends up being wrong about that, an injured victim could forever lose the ability to recover for injuries.

Recent Case Discusses The Difference

In a recently decided case, Holmes Regional Medical Center, Inc. v. Dumigan, the victim entered the hospital for cardiac bypass surgery, but left a double amputee. The problem was eventually discovered to be the heparin, a blood thinner administered during the procedure. The heparin supplier had previously issued a recall of the supply due to contamination.

The contaminated heparin was still in stock at the hospital, having never been removed after the recall. The victim sued the hospital, alleging negligence in failing to discard the heparin when the recall was issued.

The question for the appellate court was whether the case was one based on medical malpractice, or products liability (specifically, based on the defective heparin).

Many courts have held that if the injury occurred during the course of a medical procedure, it’s a medical malpractice, no matter how the injury was caused. The standard is whether the injury “directly related to the improper application of medical services … and the use of professional judgment or skill.”

But in cases where the injury is unrelated to the treatment, it will be ordinary negligence. Examples are improper touching by a physician, or spilling of hot liquids on a patient.

Court Holds The Case Was Not a Malpractice Issue

Yet, the court noted that whether using a tainted product or drug constitutes malpractice was a much more difficult question. The court looked to cases decided around the country in coming to its conclusion.

In this case, the court found that the case was not a medical malpractice case. The negligence—failing to discard the heparin when it was recalled—occurred long before the procedure. No medical judgment was involved in keeping or discarding the recalled heparin.

The failure, which involved negligence, was not a medical one, but an administrative one. Even a drug store could be liable for the same error.

Thus, the case was properly a products liability one, and not a medical malpractice case.

Remember that whether the case involved medical malpractice, products liability or ordinary negligence, an injured victim is still entitled to recover for injuries. The only distinction is whether the malpractice pre-suit requirements must be complied with (as well as, in many cases, whether the shorter two-year statute of limitations in malpractice cases applies).

Suing under the correct cause of action is an essential step in an injury lawsuit. Make sure you have attorneys that understand the subtle differences and requirements of every action. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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If you are injured because of the negligence of another, you may begin to analyze your case with the more obvious aspects of an injury lawsuit. Was someone negligent? How? Were you injured? How badly?

But often overlooked is the issue of collectability. Collectability is your ability to collect a judgment that is entered in your favor. Being awarded millions of dollars can be an empty victory if the defendant has no funds to pay the verdict entered.

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Collectible and Non-Collectible Defendants

In most cases, a verdict will be paid by larger companies with sufficient assets to pay a judgment entered against them. They know that if they didn’t pay, they would be easily collectable, and rather than have the sheriff gather their belongings and have bank accounts garnished, they usually prefer just to pay the judgment (this is assuming there is no appeal, which is another topic for another day).

In many cases, companies are also insured. Although in an injury lawsuit the negligent entity or person is the defendant, in actuality, it is their insurance that will pay most or all of any verdict entered against them. Insurance policies can be in the millions of dollars, ensuring payment of a judgment entered in favor of a victim.

But some situations give rise to wonder whether there is adequate coverage. Some situations where collectability must be considered include:

  • Any lawsuit against a very small business that may not have assets, may have other creditors, and which may not be insured.
  • Accidents where homeowner’s policies are involved, which may have numerous exclusions.
  • Intentional acts, which sometimes aren’t covered by insurance.
  • Struggling or failing businesses (even large corporations) where bankruptcy may be imminent.
  • Any time you sue an uninsured individual.

As you can see, collectability often becomes an issue in the most serious of offenses—often, intentional acts, which may include crimes, rape, or sexual assault.

Lottery Winner Sued for Sexual Assault

With many of these crimes, especially the most serious, the “good” news is that there is no statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against someone, as a recent offender found out.

A registered Florida sex offender, convicted of sex crimes against a 9-year-old in 2002, was recently sued by plaintiffs who are brothers and who say that they were also molested in 1996.

In early December, the offender had the fortune of collecting on a $2.2 million lottery win in central Florida. That lottery win apparently was the impetus for the lawsuit, now that he was a collectable defendant.

The victim’s attorneys have also asked the court to have the lottery proceeds frozen, to prevent the offender from spending it, giving it away, or “losing it,” as people faced with a significant judgment often do.

Because there is no statute of limitations, the suit is a viable one, now that there is a defendant with collectable assets. And while some question the motives of the victims, there is surely nothing wrong with holding someone responsible to his or her victims for heinous crimes committed against them. It all goes to show that collectability can be a fluid concept, which your injury attorneys should be aware of from the start.

Analyzing your ability to recover on a judgment is a crucial part of an injury case. Make sure you have attorneys that will fight for you even after a judgment is entered. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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In many personal injury cases, a negligent defendant will be in possession of crucial evidence, often for a long period of time before it has to be turned over. This may include a product that allegedly malfunctioned, witness reports, or photos of an accident scene.

You may wonder what is to prevent a defendant, who knows he was negligent, and knows that a lawsuit may be coming, from simply “losing” or destroying crucial evidence? And if it happens, how does an injured plaintiff prove their claim?

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Spoliation of Evidence

Florida law has such a term for the loss or destruction of evidence. It’s called “spoliation” of evidence.

To show that a defendant has lost crucial evidence for a spoliation claim, a plaintiff must show:

  • The plaintiff had the right to sue;
  • The defendant has legal or contractual duty to preserve evidence;
  • Evidence was destroyed;
  • Impairment in the ability to prove the lawsuit;
  • That the destruction of the evidence made the plaintiff unable to prove the lawsuit; and
  • Damages resulted.

By far the toughest prong is the second. In some cases, a statute or ordinance may contain such a duty. In others, a contract, either between the defendant and the plaintiff, or the defendant and another party (such as a store owner and a security company), may contain the duty.

But in a typical slip and fall on someone’s premises, does a business owner have a legal or contractual duty to preserve evidence, just because it knows that a lawsuit may be filed? Often, that answer is no.

Jury Instructions and Other Sanctions

Thankfully, even if all the prongs are not specifically met, a jury instruction can be given to remedy any lost or destroyed evidence, or sanctions can be imposed.

For example, if through the discovery process it is revealed that a security tape was purposely destroyed, the court can sanction a party by striking its defenses—in effect, providing a judgment to the plaintiff.

Another remedy is often a jury instruction as to presumptions. Usually at the conclusion of a case, a judge will tell a jury that they are to assume that missing evidence would have demonstrated negligence. For example, if a videotape showing a fall were destroyed, the judge may instruct the jury to assume that the tape would show a dangerous condition, or that it would otherwise corroborate the plaintiff’s testimony.

These instructions are very powerful for a jury—so powerful, it is often a better option for defendants to provide evidence than to destroy it, and risk a damaging jury instruction.

To get any of these sanctions however, it usually will have to be shown that evidence was purposely destroyed or lost or that it is being purposely withheld. That can be a high burden, but with proper depositions and reviewing of documents, it’s possible to show that an item that is that usually preserved by a defendant was wrongfully destroyed.

Often the most crucial evidence in proving a claim is the most difficult to obtain. Make sure you have attorneys that will fight to get all of the evidence. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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If you are involved in a car accident, piecing what happened together can be difficult where there are disputed versions of how the accident occurred. Common sense may tell you that one crucial piece of evidence or testimony comes from the actual police officer that investigated the accident, especially if that officer gave a ticket and has an opinion about who was responsible for causing the accident.

But Florida law greatly restricts how and when information from a police officer can be used, and you may be surprised to learn that many aspects of an officer’s investigation may not be able to be used at trial at all.

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Using Police Officer Testimony

Part of the reason that the law restricts a party from using an officer’s findings from an accident investigation or his/her reports is the great weight the average juror would give to an officer. To many jurors, it wouldn’t matter what the evidence at trial showed—if the officer said that one party was at fault, it would likely be so persuasive such as to make almost the entire trial unnecessary.

We also want officers to conduct their investigations fairly, without thinking that what they say or do will affect a party’s civil liability later down the road.

Allowing an officer to testify in trial as to who was at fault for an accident is therefore “prejudicial error,” meaning that if the testimony is let in, and a verdict is rendered for either party, that verdict is highly likely to be overturned on appeal.

A police officer can certainly testify independently about his observations at the scene of an accident if he has independent recollection. Saying that car A came to rest here, and car B there, and that a vehicle’s occupant said her neck hurt, is certainly admissible. But the officer won’t be able to give any testimony about who was at fault or who caused the accident, or to read directly from his accident report.

(Its also worth noting that if you receive a minor traffic infraction, sometimes known as “non-criminal,” and someone suffers a minor injury, if you mail in the amount of your ticket, the fact that you did so can’t be used against you at any trial later on.)

Using Accident Reports at Trial

Even accident reports themselves are inadmissible in court, as are statements by witnesses contained in the police report. Many people in car accidents fail to get the identity of witnesses, figuring that there’s no need to have them testify if they were interviewed by police. This isn’t the case. If a witness said something and its only in a police report, it won’t get into trial.

Of course, there is no restriction on deposing that witness, or having them testify. Just because they gave a statement that’s in a police report doesn’t prohibit them from testifying at trial. It just means you’ll need their independent testimony—you won’t be allowed to just read from the police report.

Understanding what kind of evidence can and can’t be used is crucial to winning your case.  Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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In any injury lawsuit involving a corporation, taking depositions of officers of the negligent party is an essential part of winning a case. As you may imagine, most defendants are not crazy about having their employees and officers sit for deposition. But a new case makes the process much easier, and leaves less room for corporate defendants to evade depositions.

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The Deposition Process

It has always been the case that a party can depose certain employees simply by noticing them.

Traditionally, a plaintiff notices a “person with the most knowledge,” and the defendant will identify who that person is and produce him or her for deposition. There can be multiple people noticed—“person with the most knowledge as to the accident” or “person with the most knowledge as to the maintenance of the property,” etc.

But it’s usually the defendant who actually identifies and produces the individual that “matches” the request. In other words, an injured plaintiff has limited ability to specifically name the people they want to depose.

However, a recent case alters all that, and now makes it easier for plaintiffs to depose specifically named individuals.

New Case Broadens Deposition Power

In RaceTrac Petroleum v. Sewell, the injured party deposed a person with knowledge of a gas station, which was sued for failing to properly direct drivers off of its property and warn them of the flow of traffic, which led to a car accident.

That person, in the deposition, identified other officers of the company with specific knowledge of the accident and the layout of the gas station. Predictably, the plaintiff wanted to depose those other officers.

The gas station objected, taking the position that the court rules don’t allow a plaintiff to specifically name an individual to be deposed. The plaintiff countered by saying that because these individuals were specifically named by the person already deposed, there was sufficient cause to have them deposed.

The court determined that there was enough wiggle room in the civil rules to allow for the practice of allowing plaintiffs to name people employed by RaceTrac to depose. The court cited the fact that the individuals had been specifically named in the representative’s depositions, and that the trial court had limited the depositions of the additional representatives to one hour.

The decision is a common sense one. A negligent defendant being sued should not have the sole discretion over who can and can’t be deposed. And when witnesses at deposition name other witnesses, preventing them from being deposed would be unjust to a plaintiff trying to prove a case.

This doesn’t mean that corporate defendants won’t fight every opportunity to depose their officers or owners. But at least now, with diligence, and by laying a proper predicate, an injured plaintiff can create grounds to show a court that these kinds of depositions should be allowed.

Getting all the facts, even when a corporate defendant puts up a fight, can be the difference between winning and losing your case. Talk to the Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your injury case.

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