On February 3, 2020, F&P associate, John Simanski, received a judgment in favor of the defense in Baltimore City District Court. The case stemmed from a July 21, 2018 accident in Baltimore City involving Boma Kollie and a driver employed by the defendant.
The plaintiff alleged that the driver of the fuel truck, who was driving in the left lane on Pratt Street, had veered into the middle lane and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from the right. However, the driver’s recollection of the events mirrored the independent eyewitnesses to the accident, which was that the driver never changed lanes and did not veer into the middle lane. Instead, the plaintiff had made the unsafe lane change.
At trial, Simanski argued that the driver acted as a reasonable person and never changed lanes while operating his vehicle on Pratt Street, and that that the plaintiff breached her duty to the driver when she negligently attempted to change lanes to access the parking lot at the location of the accident. The driver also testified that this was a route he took daily and when he turned onto Pratt Street, he always stayed in the left lane until he reached President Street where he would turn onto the Jones Falls Expressway. The driver would have no reason to alter his route or change lanes. In addition, the eyewitness testified that the plaintiff stated, after the accident, that she was trying to make a left turn into a parking lot at the intersection of Pratt and South Street.
The judge sided with the defense, finding that the plaintiff attempted to make a left turn onto South Street and did not see the fuel truck, and caused the accident. As a result, the judge found that the plaintiff was the sole and proximate cause of the accident, ruling in favor of the defense.