Appellate Court Strikes Plaintiff’s Expert Reports, Granting Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendants

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit released an opinion stemming from a 2014 negligence lawsuit brought by an injured plaintiff against a trucking company and a driver who worked for the company. According to the opinion, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants, alleging that a tractor-trailer hit his car, causing him to lose control and slam into the median. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was actually the one who lost control and hit the median before ever hitting the tractor-trailer.

Both parties moved for summary judgment, and the lower court granted the defendants’ motion to strike the plaintiff’s statement of facts – including two expert reports. The expert reports were excluded because they were filed about four months after the deadline. Furthermore, the lower court judge held that the plaintiff did not comply with a rule which requires that any opposition to summary judgment include a statement of material facts.

The plaintiff filed objections and appealed the ruling. The plaintiff argued that the late disclosure was because he believed that there was an open-ended discovery period after an order posting a status was issued. The appellate court found that there was no abuse of discretion in the lower court’s decision to exclude the plaintiff’s expert reports. Furthermore, the court stated that there is nothing in the record that supports the plaintiff’s position that the tractor-trailer hit him. In fact, the court noted that during depositions, the plaintiff admitted to not looking in his rear-view mirror prior to the accident. In sum, the court held that there were no facts in the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment that supported his version of the events.

Common Characteristics in Successful Summary Judgment Motions

Litigation can often be a lengthy and tiresome process that can cause emotional and financial stress. In some instances, a case can be decided before any of that begins, through a stage called summary judgment. In essence, a motion for summary judgment asks the court to decide a case prior to a trial. The moving party can argue that there are no disputed issues of material facts, and the other party cannot win on the undisputed facts.

An experienced attorney is crucial when deciding whether to ask for summary judgment, as well as in defending against a motion for summary judgment. An attorney can ensure that all New Mexico statutes and Rules of Civil Procedure are followed properly.

Have You Been Injured Due to Another Party’s Negligence?

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another party, you should contact one of the experienced and dedicated New Mexico personal injury attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. The New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have decades of experience handling personal injury lawsuits at all levels. Our lawyers can assist you in developing your case and determining the course of action most likely to be successful. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained, including payments for your medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Commercial Driver’s License Requirements and Mandatory Safety Regulations for New Mexico Truck Drivers, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 29, 2017.

New Mexico Truck Accidents Caused by Improper Lane Changes, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 13, 2017.