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Judges reverse summary judgment in collision case

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It should be up to a judge or jury to determine whether a driver’s distance in relation to the vehicle in front of him had any impact on a collision between the driver and another vehicle on Interstate 65.

Brittney Romero sued Teddy Brady; Advantage Tank Lines LLC, his employer; and Jonathan Stigler after she was severely injured in a car crash with Brady while driving on I-65 in Scott County. Romero was driving in the left lane and Brady was driving a tractor-trailer in the right lane behind Stigler, who was driving a box truck. After Romero passed Brady, Stigler swerved into the left lane, causing her to drive off the road, lose control and drive perpendicularly into the right lane in front of Brady’s truck, which struck her car.

Romero settled with Stigler, but Brady and Advantage sought summary judgment on Romero’s negligence complaint. They argued Brady did not owe Romero a duty to maintain a certain distance behind Stigler’s truck, and even if he was following Stigler’s truck too closely, there’s no dispute he had a part in causing Romero’s car to leave the road or enter his lane.

Romero argued that Brady owed her a duty of reasonable care and that if he had not been following the truck in front of him as closely, he would have had time to react to the incident. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Brady and his employer.

It is well established that motorists have a duty to use due care to avoid collisions, and whether a driver was following another motorist too closely goes to the issue of breach, Judge Michael Barnes wrote in Brittney L. Romero v. Teddy Brady and Advantage Tank Lines, LLC, 72A05-1308-CT-471.

The judges found Brady owed Romero a duty to use due care.

“Without assessing Romero’s likelihood of success at trial, we conclude that the Appellees, as the moving party, did not specifically address the issue of breach in their motion for summary judgment and have not established that only a single inference can be drawn from the facts. The issue of breach remains a question for the trier of fact.” Barnes wrote in reversing summary judgment.

“An act or omission is the proximate cause of an injury if the ultimate injury is one that was foreseen, or reasonably should have been foreseen, as the natural and probable consequence of the act or omission. Whether the collision between Brady and Romero was foreseen or reasonably foreseeable as a natural consequence of Brady following Stigler at the distance he was is a question for the trier of fact.”
 

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

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  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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