Woman’s Case Dismissed after Deception Uncovered
A woman hired a taxi company in Miami to transport her to a cruise ship that she was about to embark upon. When she attempted to remove her luggage from the trunk of the vehicle, the vehicle began rolling. In fact, the vehicle rolled into her and over her causing serious injuries. The force of the large vehicle broke her femur, and she was required to have a titanium rod implanted in her left.
Following surgery, the woman complained of having difficulty walking. She testified that she required the use of a cane and could not lift heavy objects. It came as quite a surprise to everyone then when she was caught on video transporting heavy boxes up and down stairs.
The court was not pleased, and the woman had no explanation for why she was on videotape both lifting heavy objects and walking without the aid of a cane. The defense revealed that they had videotaped her before she gave her misleading testimony under oath.
The defense then filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim.
The problem in a lawsuit like this is that it is quite obvious that the plaintiff has suffered serious injuries. It is also quite obvious that the defendant’s negligence was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The only question left in a lawsuit like this is: how much will the plaintiff get?
In this case, the answer is nothing. Since the court determined that the plaintiff had repeatedly lied under oath with the intention of deceiving the court, the defense motion to dismiss was granted regardless of the merits of the plaintiff’s case or the reality and circumstances of her injuries.
Dismissal for Fraud on the Court
In the aforementioned lawsuit, the plaintiff appealed the decision by the judge to dismiss the case for perpetrating fraud on the court. Dismissing a case for this reason is considered an extreme punishment which essentially kills the case. The plaintiff will never be able to recover damages for their very real injury and the defendant is off the hook for their extreme negligence.
The court rejected the appeal. The court found that the plaintiff’s conduct was egregious enough to warrant so severe a penalty.
Other cases, however, with similar instances have garnered much softer penalties. In these cases, even though it was proven that a plaintiff was lying about the extent of their injuries, the court did not find their conduct “egregious” enough to warrant dismissing the case and any award that came with it. Parts of plaintiff’s jury award, however, were thrown out.
It’s important for plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits to understand that if they lie to the court and it’s later determined that they attempted to mislead the court, it could compromise their right to compensation under the law.
Contact a Tampa Bay Medical Malpractice Attorney
Masterson, Hoag, & Smith, P.A. helps injured parties recover damages in medical or hospital malpractice lawsuits. Call us at 727-325-2696 or contact us online for a free consultation.