Archive for civil car accident

Washington Supreme Court Offers More Protection in Civil Court Against Racism

SEATTLE — The Washington Supreme Court has issued a unanimous opinion that a new trial is warranted in civil cases in which racial bias was present in court proceedings. The judges on the court found that there had been race-based misconduct that is not a harmless human error.

This opinion by the judges is the latest one they have issued with the goal of addressing racism and removing it from the state court system.

The case before the court involved personal injury that was sustained from a car crash. The court found that the trial court should have held a hearing in which allegations of racial bias and prejudice were raised by the defense in the case. It was ordered back to the King County Superior Court for a hearing on the allegations of racial bias and to get a new trial in the case.

The 33-page opinion from the justices found that the plaintiff in the personal injury case, who is black, and her Seattle-based attorney, who is also black, had to endure statements made by the defense that played into racist tropes and even suggested improprieties between Henderson and her black witnesses. The justices also found that Superior Court Judge Melinda Young had abused her own discretion by not punishing the defense when they withheld evidence from Henderson’s lawyers before the trial even took place.

The opinion of the judges also stresses that an evidentiary hearing about racial bias has to be held if the court is presented with evidence by an objective observer who is able to conclude there was a racial bias and that that was a factor in the verdict of a trial.

The case that is cited in the opinions of the justices was in court in 2019 for a jury trial in which the defense portrayed Henderson as very combative and confrontational. The justices found that this is a harmful stereotype of an angry black woman. The defense also suggested that there was some type of racial collusion between Henderson and her witnesses, three of whom happened to be black women who all use the same terminology when describing Henderson in their testimony as “life of the party.”

Drunk driving civil law suit against two Jefferson city bars

If you have been a victim of alcohol-related crashes and collisions, you probably understand civil cases that involve car accidents which are governed by the laws of negligence. Civil car accidents cases, unlike criminal cases, can be filed at any time within the act of restrictions by the person that was injured.

In the case of such a civil suit, the family of a New Haven man who was killed in a two-vehicle wreck in August 2016 in Moniteau County filed a civil suit asking for damages where Two Jefferson City bars were named. The suit filed by James Lovelace, the father of the victim in the crash, Graden Lovelace included both The Mission and spectators located on East High Street. According to Missouri Highway Patrol reports, Joshua F. Blankenship of Sedalia who was driving westbound east of the business 50 West junction crossed the center line and hit Lovelace head on.
Both cars caught fire after impact and unfortunately, Lovelace was pronounced dead at the scene while Blankenship was taken to the University Hospital with severe injuries. Blankenship was later charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in linking to the crash with the case scheduled for hearing in December in Morgan County.

In addition, Blankenship was also named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in February in Moniteau County by Lovelace’s family where they asked the court to approve a settlement of $100,000 which the court has yet to make a ruling.

Serving alcohol to Blankenship who was already visibly intoxicated as earlier claimed by the lawsuit was the reason why the suit was filed against the bars. In the lawsuit, it is also claimed that Blankenship became visibly intoxicated and inebriated to an extent where it caused him visual impairment by and significantly uncoordinated physical action or substantial physical dysfunction. The suit further states the actions to serve Blankenship bars showed a complete indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of Lovelace and others, justifying an award of punitive damages which total to serve punishment to the bars and deter them and other establishments from such conducts in future.
An excess of $25,000 in punitive damages was charged for each bar.

To date, The Mission has not been served with the claim whilst Mr. Lovelace asking for answers and choosing to inquire through legal action.