May01

CASE DISMISSED – AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT/NEGLIGENCE

Paul Elkort and Dennis Newitt obtained a dismissal of a personal injury claim by way of summary judgment on behalf of their client, a nationwide delivery company, in the case of Barba v. National Delivery Company.

Plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by a co-worker traveling from El Centro, California, to Salinas, California, to resume their employment as migrant farm workers. While traveling on northbound Interstate 5 near Bakersfield at about 4:30 a.m., the co-worker, for an unknown reason, swerved into the rear of the defendant delivery company's tractor-trailer rig. The car was dragged for a short distance, then crossed the travel lanes and came to rest in the center median. Plaintiff sustained major paralysis injuries. Plaintiff contended that the tractor-trailer caused the collision by merging onto the freeway from a rest stop on ramp directly in front of plaintiff's car without yielding the right-of-way. An independent witness motorist observed the collision and prior, the plaintiff's car passing his truck at an estimated 80 mph. He testified that he saw the car swerve toward the back of the tractor-trailer.

The firm filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the delivery company, contending that the delivery company driver acted reasonably at all times and the rig was established in the travel lane. Plaintiff opposed the motion based on an accident reconstruction expert's declaration which contended the point of impact was consistent with the tractor-trailer having just previously merged into the travel lane. The court granted the motion, ruling that all plaintiff's evidence in opposition was inadmissible, ending the case as to the delivery company defendants.

*Estate of Diaz v. Needleman, ANJAC Fashion Buildings 115-107 (hold until case settles?)