Jim Dieterich and Dmitry Vilner obtained summary judgment for White and Steele’s client, a truck driver, by successfully arguing that the claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The plaintiff had rented a car and turned over the wheel to his wife late at night while driving with his family across country. While traveling in a construction zone on I-70, the wife crashed the car into a tractor-trailer driven by our client. The wife was killed, and the other occupants were injured.
Plaintiff initially filed a lawsuit naming our truck driver client and others as defendants. However, plaintiff failed to timely serve the truck driver, and the court dismissed our client from the case without prejudice. The plaintiff’s case was then consolidated with another case naming the same defendants, filed by the plaintiff’s daughter and grandson in a separate county. Our truck driver client had been properly served in this other case. When the plaintiff moved to amend his complaint in the new case to re-add our client as a party, we argued that the 3-year statute of limitations prevented the plaintiff from doing so. The court agreed that the amended complaint did not “relate back” to the original complaint, that the statute of limitations was not tolled, and the case against our client was dismissed.
Jim Dieterich and Dmitry Vilner recently won summary judgment on behalf of White and Steele’s client, a 24/7 HVAC service company. A company employee had taken the keys to one of the company’s trucks without permission (permission was disputed), and used the truck to move his furniture during a holiday. The employee then got into an accident with the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs sued the employee and the company, arguing that the company owed them a duty to secure the truck keys from its employees during off-duty hours.
We successfully argued that our client, the HVAC company, did not owe the plaintiffs a duty of care to secure the keys to the truck from its own employee. The court agreed, holding that due to the employee’s clean driving record and the absence of any similar incident at the company’s office in Colorado, it was not foreseeable that its employee would operate the truck negligently, even if he took it without permission. Therefore, summary judgment was granted.
Thank you to Mike Daugherty, Jim Dieterich, John Lebsack, Joey Mark and Rachel Ryckman for their volunteering time in September! They worked in the warehouse doing some sorting of various items. Not only is Metro Caring a great facility for the community and our volunteering is very important to many people, it is a great chance to get to know others in the office. But they look so serious!
Jim Dieterich and Dmitry Vilner recently obtained a complete dismissal of all claims against their client in federal court. In an undoubtedly tragic case, the plaintiff was a motorist driving down I-76 when his minivan collided with a runaway horse. The plaintiff’s wife was killed in the accident. The horse’s owner had been riding the horse in a ditch along the highway when the horse bucked him and ran off. After the accident, the plaintiff sued not just the horse’s owner, but also Jim and Dmitry’s client, the landlord from whom the owner rented a living space. Jim and Dmitry successfully argued that their client could not be held legally responsible for the accident because it did not owe a duty of care to third parties, like the plaintiff, for activities conducted by its tenant off of the property.
Jim Dieterich and Dmitry Vilner recently won summary judgment for their client in a “vanishing cow” insurance bad faith case. The plaintiff, a rancher, had leased a pasture for his cattle to graze on. He alleged that, over several years, hundreds of his cows simply went missing. Near the end of his lease, the plaintiff purchased livestock coverage from Jim and Dmitry’s client, an insurance company. A few months later, the plaintiff filed an insurance claim for stolen cattle. The client investigated the claim, relying in large part on the plaintiff’s own extensive investigation (which included, among other things, hiring a private plane to fly over the pasture in hopes of finding the missing cattle). When the client could not find any evidence that any cattle were stolen, it denied the claim. The plaintiff then sued the client on common law and statutory bad faith claims. Jim and Dmitry successfully argued that the plaintiff could not prove that he suffered a loss covered by the insurance policy, or that any such loss happened during the policy period.
Thank you to Jim Dieterich, Savvi Neufer (and Ross), Donna Parker (and Jennifer, Parker, Cameron, and Dorien) and Agnieszka Karcz-Sickles (and Hannah) for their volunteering time in December. Most of our volunteers were in the warehouse sorting a large amount of limes and other produce. The produce that got out on the shelves looked especially good and there was a lot of it! Jennifer and Susan (and periodically Donna and the boys) were in the marketplace assisting shoppers, stocking shelves and keeping them neat. Hannah came out and helped in the marketplace later in the evening.
In 2016 White and Steele had 59 different volunteers (30 W&S employees and 29 non-W&S volunteers). Together these volunteers have logged 209 volunteer hours. This is White and Steele's best year yet by almost 29 hours. Thank you to everyone that has volunteered this year! You really DO make a difference!
The next volunteering night is January 31, 2017 and is great way to start the year off!