Florida Judge Keeps Out Otherwise Relevant Testimony Because Defendant Failed to Disclose it Pre-Trial

During the discovery process in a Florida personal injury suit, both parties are required to hand over certain evidence that they believe they will introduce at trial. This is fair to both sides, for it decreases the chance of being surprised on the day of trial.

Discovery rules are strict and, if not complied with, can result in the forfeiture of the ability to submit the evidence in question. For example, in the recent case of Kellner v. David, that is exactly what happened to the defendant, who tried to submit his measurements of the accident scene.

Kellner v. David: The Facts

The facts of the case are fairly straightforward. David was riding a motorcycle down a highway with a posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour. At some point, Kellner pulled out in front of David, causing the two to collide. David sued Kellner, alleging that he was negligent when he pulled out in front of her. Kellner’s defense was that David was speeding and, therefore, it was not his fault he didn’t see her coming.

The Defendant’s Problem

At trial, the plaintiff called an expert witness to testify to the fact that the plaintiff was not speeding at the time of the accident. The expert used various mathematical formulas and video footage of the accident to determine the plaintiff’s speed at the time the defendant pulled out in front of her.

In response, the defendant attempted to submit his own measurements of the accident scene to refute the testimony of the expert witness. However, the trial court did not let the defendant testify to this information in front of the jury because he did not tell the plaintiff he made measurements of the accident scene during the pre-trial discovery period.

On Appeal

The appellate court agreed with the lower court in keeping out the testimony. Applying several factors, the court concluded that the prejudice that allowing the testimony would cause to the plaintiff would be unfair, given that the defendant could have—and should have—disclosed his intent to testify about the measurements of the accident during pre-trial discovery. The court also noted that the defendant’s concealment of his own measurements until trial suggested bad faith, and that such conduct cannot be rewarded.

Are You Involved in a Florida Personal Injury Case?

If you are currently involved in a Florida personal injury case, or you think you may have a case that should go to trial, contact one of the skilled Florida personal injury attorneys at the Dean Law Firm. The dedicated attorneys at the Dean Law Firm have years of experience handling all kinds of Florida personal injury matters, and know from experience what works and what doesn’t. They can meet with you to discuss your case and help you determine if moving forward is worth your time and effort. Click here, or call 352-387-8700 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Court Explains When the Procedural Requirements for Medical Malpractice Cases Apply, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 29, 2014.

Police Identify Hit-and-Run Driver Responsible for the Deaths of Three Single Mothers, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published July 31, 2014.

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