Earlier last month, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island issued a decision affirming a lower court’s dismissal of a case against a defendant in a car accident case. In the case, Wray v. Green, the plaintiffs’ case was dismissed because they failed to submit any evidence indicating that the defendant was negligent in the operation of his vehicle.
The Facts of Wray v. Green
The crash giving rise to the case in Wray v. Green was a three-car accident. Wray was the driver of the first vehicle. According to the court’s written opinion, Wray came to a stop at an intersection, waiting to make a left turn into a parking lot.
Roy was the driver of the second vehicle, and the defendant in the case. The evidence at the pre-trial motion suggests that Roy came to a complete stop behind Wray. However, it is not known how far away from Wray Roy’s vehicle was when it came to a stop.
The third vehicle was operated by Green. Green rear-ended Roy, and Roy’s car was pushed into Wray’s car. Both Wray and the passenger in Green’s car were injured as a result of the accident and filed a lawsuit against Roy and Green. This case dealt only with Roy’s liability to the plaintiffs.
In a pre-trial motion, Roy asked the court to dismiss the case against him, arguing that there was no evidence he was negligent. The lower court agreed. However, the plaintiffs appealed to a higher court.
On Appeal, the Verdict is Affirmed
The appellate court hearing the case determined that the lower court properly granted Roy’s motion, since there was no evidence he was negligent in pulling up behind Wray’s vehicle. The plaintiffs unsuccessfully argued that Roy pulled up too close to Wray’s vehicle, and had Roy left more room his car would not have hit Wray’s car. Alternatively, the plaintiffs argued that Roy was in violation of the motor vehicle code prohibiting following too closely.
The court was not persuaded by either argument. First, the court explained that there was no testimony or any other evidence indicating how far away Roy’s vehicle was from Wray’s at the time of the accident. Second, the court explained that the motor vehicle code prohibits following too closely while vehicles are in motion, not while they are stopped. Since there was no evidence suggesting Roy was negligent, the lawsuit against him was dismissed.
Of course, this case did not consider Green’s liability to Wray and his own passenger.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries. Often, there are multiple parties involved in car accidents, and it may not be clear who is at fault upon first glance. It is important for a case’s ultimate success to have a skilled accident attorney review your case before proceeding. Failing to name a necessary party may have drastic consequences down the road. Make sure that you are properly advised throughout the entire duration of your case, and call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Accident Victim’s Claim Against City that Concrete Barriers Were Improperly Installed Failed for Lack of Expert’s Testimony, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published December 9, 2015.
Court Finds “Good Faith” of Trooper Resulted in Governmental Immunity, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published December 16, 2015.