Congratulations to Fried Goldberg, LLC attorneys Joe Fried and Nathan Gaffney, and paralegal Brianne Kunkel, for their recent settlement of a case involving a young man who crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that had stopped in the center lane of a three-lane highway due to mechanical failure. The liability was highly contested in a state where fault by the plaintiff equal to or greater than 50% would result in no recovery. No names are being used because the result is confidential.
When Fried took over the case, the focus ranged from what caused the truck to lose power to why no hazard triangles were put out on the road. Fried decided that these issues did not matter. He focused on the one issue that he knew he could win – that the truck had more than enough time and space to get off the roadway after power was lost, and the driver decided not to do so. The driver coasted for 2 miles and 3 minutes before coming to a stop. To Fried, this was inexcusable, and focusing on that fact made the case stronger. Fried also “normalized” the conduct of his client, using lay witnesses and experts to show that, in the real world, it is hard for people to appreciate how fast they are approaching a stopped vehicle ahead. The defense was focused on the truck being visible, but Fried explained that was the wrong issue. “The issue is not whether you can see the truck; it is whether you can appreciate that you are closing on it as fast as you are.”