Whose Fault is it Anyway?
Tasha Lyn Cosimo recently won a complete defense award in a hotly disputed liability case. The case in question was a classic car collision in which each driver claimed that the other was at fault in the accident.
The Background Story
Our client’s version of the facts was that the plaintiff cut him off when he made a last minute right turn from the wrong lane across two lanes of traffic. The plaintiff stated that our client rear-ended him when he made a turn from the proper lane and did not cut off our client. Examination of the damaged vehicles gave no conclusive evidence as to who caused the accident. In addition, there were no witnesses to the collision other than our client, the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s passenger.
The plaintiff did not make it easy for Tasha to work up the case. In fact all of the discovery documents that our defense team requested for case were not provided until four months after the deadline. When Tasha deposed the plaintiff’s passenger, it turned out that he did not agree with the plaintiff’s view of how the accident happened. In fact, he stated that the plaintiff did turn from the wrong traffic lane, which supported the defense argument. Tasha never actually met the plaintiff in the case; she ended up deposing him over the phone.
On the evening before the arbitration, Tasha got wind that the plaintiff’s passenger, who was key to her case, might be getting cold feet when it came to testifying. Realizing that if he didn’t testify it would have a dramatic impact on her case, Tasha stayed late into the night and wrote a motion to allow his testimony from the deposition to be allowed in as evidence.
Sure enough, on the day of the arbitration the plaintiff’s passenger did not appear. When they attempted to reach him by phone, it was discovered that the phone was disconnected. Tasha’s motion to allow the deposition transcript was granted. Due to Tasha’s advocacy the arbitrator awarded a complete defense award! Our client was extremely pleased with the result, and is hoping that this verdict will dissuade any future liability claims or lawsuits.