Massachusetts Appellate Court Upholds Summary Judgment in Semi-Truck Rear-End Crash

There can be several different complications and unexpected events that arise in a personal injury lawsuit, and it’s not uncommon for defendants to attempt to use these situations to their advantage. Some of the most complex issues that arise involve evidence, including identifying witnesses and establishing that the offered evidence is appropriate and should be submitted to the jury. As dedicated Boston car accident lawyers, we are well versed in how to handle these situations so that your right to recovery is protected. A recent appellate court opinion discusses how evidentiary issues can become complicated.

The plaintiff sustained injuries during a car crash in 2014. He filed a negligence lawsuit against the operator of the large semi truck that hit his vehicle and against the company that employed the driver and that owned the semi truck. According to his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the truck rear-ended his vehicle, causing him to lose control and causing him to strike the median.

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff filed an opposition brief. The defendant filed a motion to strike the plaintiff’s statement of facts in the plaintiff’s opposition brief. The defendant also asked the court to strike two reports from experts attached as exhibits. The magistrate granted the defendant’s request, finding that the plaintiff did not comply with a local procedural rule that requires the party opposing a motion for summary judgment to include a concise statement of material facts in the record. The trial court ultimately granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and the plaintiff appealed.

On review, the plaintiff contended that the reports should not have been struck and that summary judgment would have been inappropriate had the court not struck the reports. The appellate court reviewed the record and noted that the plaintiff did not provide the reports to the defendant until four months after the deadline to disclose expert witnesses had expired. It also agreed with the lower court judge, who stated that the plaintiff repeatedly failed to comply with the discovery-related procedural rules. The appellate court also rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that a status conference order made vague references to extending the timelines for the disclosure of expert witnesses. The appellate court agreed with the lower court’s conclusion that the plaintiff should have sought clarification if they were unclear regarding what the order required regarding disclosure deadlines. Furthermore, the appellate court reviewed the reports and determined that they would not have affected the outcome of the motion for summary judgment.

At the Law Offices of Michael O. Smith, our car accident lawyers have assisted many Boston victims with asserting their right to compensation from a careless driver. As a result, we know just how stressful, confusing, and hectic it can be to determine whether you are entitled to compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. We are well-versed in the procedural rules that apply to your case and will work diligently to ensure that your claim is handled in a timely fashion. We offer a free consultation to discuss your potential lawsuit. Call us now at 617-263-0060 or contact us online to get started.

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