Massachusetts Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for Rideshare Client
Massachusetts Partner Nora R. Adukonis, Partner Eileen P. Kavanagh and Attorney Deren P. Dube obtained summary judgment at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of a rideshare driver in a negligence case.
Plaintiff, a tourist visiting Boston, was returning from a day of sightseeing when our client, a rideshare driver, arrived to pick up the plaintiff and her family. The plaintiff alleges that our client began to pull away from the curb before she had fully entered the vehicle. The plaintiff alleged that the vehicle “lurched’ forward as one of her feet remained on the curb. The plaintiff sought extensive damages for claimed injuries to her back, shoulder, hip and knee, and filed suit against our client.
After extensive discovery concerning plaintiff’s theory of liability and damages, the plaintiff indicated she would not be designating or calling an expert witness to establish that her late-manifesting and highly subjective physical complaints could be caused by the “lurch” or “jerk” of a motor vehicle. Our attorneys moved for summary judgment.
In their motion, Nora, Eileen and Deren argued that without live expert testimony, plaintiff could not present admissible evidence to establish that she suffered any “damage” as a result of any breach of duty by our client. In response, the plaintiff argued that a jury could simply infer causation based on the plaintiff’s own testimony and medical records. Reasoning that “a lay juror could not without expert evidence find that the…incident was a cause of the pain for which [plaintiff] now seeks damages,” the Court granted summary judgment in favor of our client on March 17, 2023.
Nora practices in the areas of insurance coverage, products liability, and employment. She defends clients in actions alleging injuries or property damage from fires, floods, defective products or chemical exposure.
Eileen is a seasoned litigator with more than 30 years of experience in state and federal courts. She concentrates her practice on the defense of personal injury and damages claims, as well as lender liability defense and complex commercial litigation.
Deren handles matters involving personal injury defense, commercial liability, professional liability and products liability. He also handles complex civil litigation, particularly in the area of general liability.