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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. The is an unsigned editorial masquerading as a news story. Almost everyone quoted was biased in favor of letting all illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. (Ignoring that Obama deported 3.5 million in 8 years). For some reason Obama enforcing part of the immigration laws was O.K. but Trump enforcing additional parts is terrible. I have listed to press conferences and explanations of the Homeland Security memos and I gather from them that less than 1 million will be targeted for deportation, the "dreamers" will be left alone and illegals arriving in the last two years -- especially those arriving very recently -- will be subject to deportation but after the criminals. This will not substantially affect the GDP negatively, especially as it will take place over a number of years. I personally think this is a rational approach to the illegal immigration problem. It may cause Congress to finally pass new immigration laws rationalizing the whole immigration situation.

  2. Mr. Straw, I hope you prevail in the fight. Please show us fellow American's that there is a way to fight the corrupted justice system and make them an example that you and others will not be treated unfairly. I hope you the best and good luck....

  3. @ President Snow - Nah, why try to fix something that ain't broken??? You do make an excellent point. I am sure some Mickey or Minnie Mouse will take Ruckers seat, I wonder how his retirement planning is coming along???

  4. Can someone please explain why Judge Barnes, Judge Mathias and Chief Judge Vaidik thought it was OK to re weigh the evidence blatantly knowing that by doing so was against the rules and went ahead and voted in favor of the father? I would love to ask them WHY??? I would also like to ask the three Supreme Justices why they thought it was OK too.

  5. How nice, on the day of my car accident on the way to work at the Indiana Supreme Court. Unlike the others, I did not steal any money or do ANYTHING unethical whatsoever. I am suing the Indiana Supreme Court and appealed the failure of the district court in SDIN to protect me. I am suing the federal judge because she failed to protect me and her abandonment of jurisdiction leaves her open to lawsuits because she stripped herself of immunity. I am a candidate for Indiana Supreme Court justice, and they imposed just enough sanction so that I am made ineligible. I am asking the 7th Circuit to remove all of them and appoint me as the new Chief Justice of Indiana. That's what they get for dishonoring my sacrifice and and violating the ADA in about 50 different ways.

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