Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case brought by a woman who was injured when her vehicle was struck by the defendant truck driver. The court was tasked with determining whether, despite her failure to object at the time, the plaintiff was entitled to a new trial based on comments at trial referring to her undocumented status. Ultimately, the court concluded that the comments were “incurably prejudicial” and warranted a new trial.
The plaintiff was injured when her vehicle collided with the defendant’s truck while the truck driver made a lane change. It was undisputed that the defendant made contact with the plaintiff’s car during a lane change; however, other evidence at trial was hotly contested, including whether the plaintiff was speeding at the time.
Immediately after the accident, the defendant apologized to the plaintiff, acknowledging that he was at fault. However, in later depositions, he took that back, explaining that he learned why the accident had been caused, and upon further reflection no longer believed he was at fault.