Was the driver distracted at the time of the accident? This is often the liability dispute at the center of litigation when a plaintiff has sued for personal injuries following a motor vehicle accident. In a recent case the plaintiff alleged that the defendant told plaintiff at the scene of the accident that the defendant was on her cell phone when the accident happened. Conversely, the defendant denied making that statement.
Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment and introduced her cell phone records, which indicated that she was not on her phone at the time of the accident. The burden then shifted to the plaintiff to present factual support showing that he would be able to prove that defendant was using her phone in some other manner at the time of the accident. Plaintiff was unable to meet his burden and the district court entered summary judgment in favor of defendant, dismissing plaintiff’s claims against defendant with prejudice. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Louisiana for the First Circuit.
Ritchey v. State Farm Mutual Automotive Ins. Co. and Bonvillain
Philip D. Lorio, IV