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7th Circuit affirms defense verdict in motorcycle crash

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A woman who lost her legs after an Indianapolis motorcycle crash isn’t entitled to a new trial even though hearsay evidence was improperly admitted, including her statements that the crash was her fault.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday affirmed a verdict for the defense reached in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The case is Betty M. Jordan and Theodore R. Jordan v. Kelly D. Binns and U.S. XPress, Inc., 11-2134, and oral arguments were conducted Oct. 12 at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Betty Jordan was permanently injured on Aug. 22, 2008, when she was driving a motorcycle eastbound and made contact with a truck driven by Kelly Binns, who said he heard a “banging noise” on his truck and saw the motorcycle sliding on the ground in the passenger rearview mirror.

Binns stopped and ran to help Jordan, and Binns testified that she repeatedly told him, “Tell the trucker it’s not his fault. It’s my fault.” Binns relayed those statements to an Indiana state trooper and claims managers at the company he drove for, U.S. XPress.

A trooper testified that Jordan’s husband, Ted, initially affirmed that Betty told him the accident was her fault, but he later denied making such statements.

The Jordans challenged six pieces of evidence admitted as hearsay, and the 7th Circuit agreed that some were. Nevertheless, the errors weren’t significant enough to warrant a new trial, the judges wrote in a 33-page ruling.

“Not only was the improperly admitted evidence cumulative, but the other evidence presented at trial strongly favored the defendants’ position,” Judge Johh Daniel Tinder wrote for the panel.

“Even though the central issue at trial was fault, the cumulative nature of the improperly admitted evidence coupled with this additional evidence leads us to conclude that the improper evidence did not have a substantial effect on the jury’s verdict,” Tinder wrote.

 

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  • Rules
    It seems that the ICOA applies rules differently to different cases or make up rules case by case! A broken gun is not a gun for any purpose, no more than a gas pipe is a gas pipe if it is connected to a water well pump!

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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