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Joshua Brown's family hires law firm - attorney claims more accident victims coming forward

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Looks like speculation that Tesla has already settled with Mr. Brown's family can be put to rest:

    "The family of Joshua Brown, the Tesla enthusiast who was killed in a car crash last month, has hired a prominent personal injury law firm. Jack Landskroner, who has been hired by the family, says it hasn’t been determined whether Brown’s family may file a lawsuit based on the accident, but he says his firm is looking into “anything and everything” related to the fatal crash. Landskroner says he and other lawyers at his firm, Landskroner Grieco Merriman, have been contacted by other drivers who have been involved in accidents while using Tesla’s autopilot feature, the car manufacturer’s semi-autonomous mode that Brown was reportedly using at the time of the crash. Landskroner said that he and his firm were carefully investigating each incident."

    "Landskroner Grieco Merriman, based in Cleveland, specializes in personal injury and product liability cases. Last October, the firm brought a class action lawsuit against Cleveland Public Power, alleging that the utility defrauded about 80,000 customers out of millions by charging a hidden monthly fee."

    "Landskroner also said that his firm has sued both trucking companies and car manufacturers in a number of cases."


    Tesla Autopilot Crash Victim’s Family Has Hired a Personal Injury Lawyer
     
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  2. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    This was inevitable.
     
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  3. apacheguy

    apacheguy Sig 255, VIN 320

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    I just don't get this. How can Tesla be responsible? The driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of all passengers especially when an enormous truck pulls in front. It doesn't matter if autopilot did or didn't see it. The driver, had he been paying attention, should have taken immediate evasive action.
     
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  4. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Tesla's liability would ultimately be decided by twelve people not smart enough to get out of jury duty, that's how. Of course, I'm sure they never plan on it getting that far, rather they intend to use the threat of legal action to get Tesla to settle out of court. Many companies will just hand over some cash rather than endure litigation, even if they have a good case. I have a feeling Tesla is not going to act that way though.
     
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  5. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Surprised it took this long. Legal arguments aren't going to take into account the overall stats of AP being safer.
     
  6. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Ugh... Instead of taking responsibility for ones actions, gotta call the lawyers...

    Jeff

    EDIT: Oh and the supposed "others" is going to get real interesting once the "others" realize that Tesla has logs of everything...
     
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  7. Alketi

    Alketi Member

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    I'm willing to bet that the lawyers called them. Instead of chasing ambulances like the old days, now they're scouring social media or reading Fortune magazine.

    But yes, utterly inevitable. We can't have anything nice in the world without someone trying to profit off its destruction.
     
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  8. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Reminds me of the old saying "If you hang raw meat from your doorknob don't be surprised to find jackals on your porch" ;)
     
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  9. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    For better or for worse, its is going to be court cases like these that can be helpful (or fatal).
    • The NHTSA and NTSB investigations can provide regulatory air cover for AP (or make it unusable it)
    • A lawsuit against a state's auto dealer association or something at the federal level can clear the way for direct sales model (or further enshrine it)
    • Winning a product liability case like this moves the onus back on the driver to not do stupid things (and losing it will unleash the legal kraken)
    I would be surprised if Tesla settles this lawsuit--I think they need to be fully exonerated, otherwise they will continue to open to more FUD attacks down the road.

    I would be curious to see if Tesla pursues libel/slander claims against any folks to help tamp down the enthusiasm for blaming AP for everything.
     
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  10. Skotty

    Skotty 2014 Model S P85

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    Jury duty is a responsibility and a privilege that no one should try to get out of without good reason. Furthermore, smart people should be further motivated to serve out of the realization that it is better for everyone if smart people serve on juries.

    If the unfortunate person involved in this incident was as big a fan as I've seen mentioned, his family should be careful not to tread on his dreams. No party was being bad here. Sometimes accidents happen. No one will gain from a lawsuit over this.
     
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  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I was guessing when this would happen. Even if it wasn't initiated by the family, lawyers usually will jump on cases like this where there is a very clear well-moneyed target. Civil cases have much lower standards of evidence than criminal cases.

    Like others mentioned, I would lean on believing Tesla might not want to settle this case because of the implications of doing so.
     
  12. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    #12 Stoneymonster, Jul 11, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
    Unlikely. Libel and slander cases in the US have a pretty high bar to clear and would only draw more interest to the issue (Streisand effect).
     
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  13. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    I agree fully, but the reality is that most people see it as a burden, and those who are also smart will easily find ways to get out of it. There is also the aspect that lawyers tend to look for qualities in jurors which can exclude smarter people, so it doesn't even have to be intentional.

    Basically, just because a jury decides something doesn't mean it's so, but it does determine who gets to pay.
     
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  14. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    I don't think we have enough facts to conclude that. Based on what I've heard, it seems very likely that the Tesla driver was being
    reckless. Think of the impact of this on his family and on the truck driver. Is recklessly causing that much harm in no way "bad"?
    A distant second those concerns is the profoundly negative impact all of this is likely to have on the dream of autonomous EVs that
    he is said to have cared so much about. I don't want to come across as unsympathetic to Joshua Brown, but I just don't buy the
    argument that as long as you personally pay the ultimate price for your behavior it doesn't matter how much "collateral damage" it does.
     
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  15. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    ^^^ this
     
  16. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Probably right. I am not sure you have to worry about the Streisand Effect here, since Tesla is already under a microscope, but there is something to be said for not needlessly feeding the news/hype cycle.
     
  17. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    Proof that cockroaches can pass the bar exam.....
     
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  18. 182RG

    182RG Free The Service Manuals From Tyranny

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    America. Where tort law provides people too stupid to use good judgement the ability to blame and financially punish another party.
     
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  19. cpa

    cpa Member

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    My best friend for the past 55 years is a lawyer. He is the litigation counsel for a large public utility. About eight years ago there was a horrible accident involving an explosion of a newly-installed natural gas pipeline in some new construction. No one was killed, fortunately; however, several plumbers were injured in the explosion and incurred some medical bills. These were union plumbers with up to 25 years experience. The utility offered to pay their medical expenses. This was not satisfactory to them or to the plaintiff lawyers they hired.

    So, they sued for millions and millions. The suit went to trial. My friend does not defend cases in court but coordinates with trial counsel and develops strategy. Anyway, the jury had to endure days and days of company policies and procedures regarding the "pickling" of stainless steel natural gas pipelines. Natural gas is odorless, so it is treated with various sulfur compounds like mercaptan to give it that distinctive smell. Virgin stainless steel pipe has a way of absorbing these sulfuric compounds until the metal surface is saturated, hence the pickling procedures. He said the amount of technical data and science provided the jury was staggering.

    Anyway, the jury returned a near unanimous verdict for the plaintiffs. My friend said that trial counsel could see that she was losing the jury with all the defense testimony to support that there was no negligence or other tortious act by the utility.

    So, the utility appealed the jury verdict. The appeals court unanimously tossed the jury verdict, saying that the verdict was not supported by the facts.

    This story more or less validates the theory that civil matters that are technical in nature or have many subtle differences frequently lose the jury. They do not weigh the evidence and facts. They distill the trial down to who is likeable more--some injured plumbers or a faceless public utility with billions in the bank. And we all know who will win in these situations every time.
     
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  20. hacer

    hacer Member

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    It seems reasonable to me for the Brown family to sue the Trucker and the trucking company.
     
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