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.



  • 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. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon