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Posted: October 29th, 2022

Civil Litigation

Civil Litigation
You have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Kelsey Mathews against Sally Smith in state court in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. This case involves an incident that occurred on August 12, 2019. On that date, plaintiff and her eight‑year‑old son, Bill, were riding their bicycles on the sidewalk approaching 1234 Evergreen Street in University Heights, Ohio. Bill was riding a few feet in front of his mother.

At the same time, defendant was backing her car out of her driveway located at 1234 Evergreen Street. On the passenger side of defendant’s vehicle, the driveway was lined with hedges, which obstructed the view of the driveway from the sidewalk.

Noted from a preliminary interview with a member of your firm indicates that your client gave the following responses:

Q And how did you come to fall?

A I just saw the car moving in front of me and I hit brakes and I fell off the bike.

Q Where was her vehicle when you first saw it?

A Let me just say this, it happened so quickly, that she was right there in front of me when I just slammed on brakes. I didn’t see her until she just pulled out in front of me.

Your client claims that she did not see the defendant’s car until it was right in front of her because the protruding hedges obstructed her view. She stated that the car extended over half of the sidewalk and that the sudden emergence of the car caused her to apply the brakes of her bicycle quickly and to fall, injuring her knee. Your client has repeatedly stated that the car was in front of her when she fell.

Defendant claimed, in her answer, that she saw Plaintiff and her son riding their bikes along the sidewalk while she was backing out of the driveway. She claims, in her answer, that she brought her vehicle to a stop at the point of intersection between her driveway and the sidewalk. She claims that she came to a complete stop before Mrs. Mathews, who was allegedly twelve to twenty feet from this intersection, saw her vehicle. She further claimed that she stopped her vehicle, a 2012 Toyota Camry, right before the sidewalk, when the plaintiff’s bicycle struck her car, causing plaintiff’s injuries.

Both parties agree that defendant then exited her car to see whether the plaintiff was hurt and she subsequently loaded plaintiff’s bicycle in her trunk and offered to drive plaintiff home. Plaintiff then entered the car through the passenger side.

You filed a complaint in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, to which an answer was filed.

In your research, you have found the following relevant language under Ohio Revised Code 4511.431 that specifies the duty of emerging cars. The law states:

The driver of a vehicle or trackless trolley emerging from an alley, building, private road, or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop the vehicle or trackless trolley immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk area extending over the alley, building entrance, road, or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.38 states as follows:

Rules for starting and backing vehicles.

No person shall start a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley which is stopped, standing, or parked until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.

Before backing, operators of vehicles, streetcars, or trackless trolleys shall give ample warning, and while backing they shall exercise vigilance not to injure person or property on the street or highway.

No person shall back a motor vehicle on a freeway, except: in a rest area; in the performance of public works or official duties; as a result of an emergency caused by an accident or breakdown of a motor vehicle.

Your client has also told you that she saw the police interviewing two bystanders after the accident, but she has no idea who they are or where they live.

Please map out an initial discovery plan for this case. Please include all of the discovery devices that you believe are important to explore and explain why and how you will use them in this case. If there are necessary facts that are missing from the hypothetical, you may make any reasonable assumptions, as long as you clearly state the assumption

Civil Litigation
The discovery device, in this case, would be used to ask the defense to produce physical evidence, documents, or photographs regarding the case to the party belonging to the plaintiff or for further examination. During the production of materials, the type of documents to be asked are such as photos taken at the accident scene, any present video that shows the incident taking place. Second, any drawings or diagrams, copies of the police report, copies of the statements written by witnesses, copies of the insurance policies belonging to the defendant that would help him or her in paying for damages and photographs of the reports produced by expert witnesses.
The types of discoveries given are such as a mandatory disclosure where advice is given to the court when parties stipulate to a new disclosure method from the one expected. The advice can also be given when the parties agree upon not receiving any rule or a disclosure. In the case of an absent mandatory disclosure, the parties are advised on how to exchange information concerning and location of ESI (BARON & Losey). The second discovery is interrogatories. These are a maximum of number with a limit presumed to be twenty-five people to be interrogated by a party to another. the outcome should be ready within thirty days after service. Unless the pursuant doesn’t agree.
The third discovery is the admission request. That is a highest of number chances for disclosure by a party to another. answers are ready in thirty days after being on service unless the pursuant doesn’t agree. The fourth discovery is depositions, where a maximum of number is presumed to be ten depositions by the plaintiff and by the defendant. the allegation is could be of name limited to the highest number with a boundary supposed to be seven hours. Agreement from both parties can oppose by extending the hours. The fifth discovery is electronic information disclosures. If the parties do not anticipate the development of electronically stored information (“ESI”), they should explain here.
Otherwise, the parties must produce first, a thorough description of the proposals belonging to the parties concerning the disclosure or discovery of ESI. They should also attach a proposed order (BARON & Losey). Second is pointing out the differences that refer to the same. The parties should refer to the ESI checklist provided on the court’s website for more guidance. Some of the issues the parties should consider should be included. The issues are not limited to Preservation. Counsel should try agreeing on steps to be taken by parties. The steps are meant to avoid spoliation accusations by segregating and preserving ESI. Second, Location and Systems. Counsel should try identifying some of the systems from which discovery will be prioritized. Examples of these systems are email, finance, HR systems, backup/archival systems, including the description, location, and media of those systems.
The third is the Scope of Proportionality, search, and Costs. Counsel should try identifying and agreeing on the scope of ESI discovery, the search method. Also, specific words or phrases or other methodologies used to identify ESI that is discoverable, the nature and amount of the claims being made, and who should cater for the cost of acquiring such kind of data. Fourth, mode and format of Transmittal. Counsel needs to try agreeing on the composition and method of Transmittal to be used in the ESI production. fifth, phasing, which shows if it is appropriate to conduct discovery of ESI in phases.
The Ohio revised code 4511.38 states that nobody should start a vehicle which is parked stopped or standing until it is confirmed that it is safe (PAGE, P.S) The defendant, in this case, claims that she saw oncoming bikes where the plaintiff and her son were riding. She says that she immediately stopped the car at the point of intersection between the sidewalk and her driveway. However, she was wrong for that because she could have ensured that the path was clear and safe before she started the car. Again the rules state that, before backing a vehicle, a warning should be given, and while at it, great caution should be taken to avoid accidents.
The defendant did not give a clear warning as she was backing her vehicle. The defendant was cycling with her son behind. The next thing she sees in front of her is the car belonging to the plaintiff. She had to stop, which led to her being injured. Both the defendant and the plaintiff agree that the defendant took the plaintiff to the hospital, but it was wrong for the defendant to ignore giving a signal when backing her car. The defendant might have been vigilant not to injure a person or cause damage to properties on the highway or streets, but lack of signal makes her ignorant.
In my opinion, the defendant was guilty of not giving a sign meant to be a warning before backing her car. She also didn’t observe the rule that says, and nobody should start his or her vehicle, which is parked, stopped, or standing until it is confirmed that it is safe. The discovery device, in this case, would be used to ask the defense to produce physical evidence, documents, or photographs regarding the case to the party belonging to the plaintiff or for further examination. I want to assume that there were photographs produced or videos from the security cameras around there for further investigation. Two bystanders were interviewed. That means that adequate evidence of what transpired was released, and the defendant was found guilty.

BARON, G., & Losey, R. E-Discovery. Did you.

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