It should not come as a surprise, but litigants are not permitted to commit fraud against, or mislead, a court of law. However, in order for a case to get dismissed for fraud or misconduct, the party committing the alleged fraud must know that what they are submitting to the court is not true. In a recent case in front of one Florida court of appeals, the court had the occasion to describe when it is proper to dismiss a case based on fraud or misconduct. The bar may be higher than previously thought.
Casteel v. Maddalena: The Facts
In the recent case, Casteel v. Maddalena, the parties were disputing fault in a serious Florida accident involving a car and a motorcycle. Casteel, the motorcyclist, was hit by Maddalena as he was making a left turn across two lanes of traffic. The main issue in the case was where Casteel was in the intersection when he was struck by Maddalena’s vehicle. If he was clear of the intersection, it would indicate that Maddalena was at fault. However, if he was still in the intersection at the time of the collision, it would mean that he failed to yield the right of way to Maddalena, who was traveling straight ahead at the time of the accident. Continue reading →