Collisions involving trucks often cause fatal injuries, resulting in substantial emotional and economic losses. As such, it is not uncommon for a defendant in a lawsuit arising out of a truck accident to seek dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims via summary judgment. A defendant moving for dismissal faces a high burden of proof, however, and in most instances, summary judgment is not appropriate. The standard for granting summary judgment was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a case in which the defendant argued that video evidence thwarted the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt in a crash caused by a truck, you may be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Florida car accident attorney to determine your possible claims.
It is alleged that the decedent’s car crashed into the back of a commercial truck operated by the defendant driver. The decedent suffered critical injuries in the accident and passed away shortly after. His estate filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver and his employer, alleging their negligence caused the decedent’s death. During discovery, a video was produced that refuted the plaintiff’s assertion that the defendant driver was operating the truck negligently. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment relying on the video, which the court granted. The plaintiff appealed, and the appellate court reversed the trial court ruling. The defendants then appealed, and the question of whether the summary judgment standard should be modified in cases involving video evidence was certified to the Florida Supreme Court.
Grounds for Granting Summary Judgment in Florida
On appeal, the court noted the intermediate court stated it was compelled to reverse the trial court ruling based on the current summary judgment standard, which states that summary judgment is unwarranted if the evidence of record inspires the slightest doubt regarding whether a material issue of fact exists. Continue reading