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No evidence car crash caused by other driver, 7th Circuit rules

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The estate of a northern Indiana man who died in an auto accident was unable to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals his death was caused by the negligence of the other driver.

Edmund Carman was killed when his Kia Spectra rear ended a Ford F-150 pickup truck driven by Daniel Tinkes. Carman, driving “quickly” on U.S. 20 in the early morning without his headlights on, struck the right rear corner of the truck which tore off the driver’s side of the car.

The estate claims Tinkes was violating traffic laws as he entered the left turn lane, which caused the accident. Pointing to Indiana Code 9-21-8-6 and 9-21-8-24, the estate argued Tinkes illegally passed on the right another truck which was further back in the turn lane and he made an unsafe lane change when he entered the turn lane.

However, the 7th Circuit found there was no evidence that Tinkes violated either traffic law. In Estate of Edmund M. Carman, deceased, v. Daniel B. Tinkes, et al., 13-3846, the Circuit Court affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the defendants.

“The fact that Carman was in the left lane some distance behind him, speeding toward the red light with no indication he was slowing down or about to stop, does not make Tinkes’s move from that lane a traffic violation,” Judge David Hamilton wrote. “Even if Tinkes had seen Carman coming from behind (which would have been a feat considering Carman’s lack of headlights), he could not be faulted for failing to execute the maneuver quickly enough to avoid being hit from behind.”
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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