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Avoid the Hustle

Pre-trial litigation hypo

Category: Law

On January 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm, Sam Shaver, age 19 and a resident of Guilford, Connecticut is driving his 2010 Smart for Two on Main Street in Port Jefferson, NY, having just gotten of the ferry. While doing so, his car is struck from behind by a 2008 Mercury Grand Marquis owned by Delilah Dotard, age 78, and driven by her husband Darby Dotard, age 83, both of whom are residents of Lantana, FL. As a result of the impact, Sam’s little two seater is propelled through the front window of a cigar shop. Sam is seriously injured in the collision and his car is a total loss. Sam is taken to Mather Hospital by ambulance where he spends the next sixty seven days as an inpatient with injuries including a ruptured spleen and a fractured left ulna. Darby denies liability and claims that Sam is wholly at fault for the collision, having suddenly cut in front of him and sharply applied his brakes, without leaving him sufficient space in which to stop his Mercury.

Sam has come to you because of your outstanding reputation as a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney in New York, Connecticut and Florida (you happen to be admitted to practice in each of those jurisdictions). He asks you to represent him and to bring suit against Dotards.

Please review the facts and determine whether or not Sam has a claim, whether there are any bars to his claim and if so, the type of claim and where it should be brought (your choices for venues are as follows: 1. Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk (supreme court in NY is the name of the lower state court – V.I.), 2. Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven; or 3. Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, FL.