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Claim that speeding motorist relinquished right-of-way at intersection is dismissed

Amy Patterson sued William Carroll to recover for serious auto-accident reated injuries.  Although she turned in front of Carroll at an intersection, she argued that the collision was actually caused by Carroll's excessive speed.  Under the law, a person with the right-of-way at an intersection loses that right-of-way if he or she is speeding.  In an odd, split decision, the Court upheld the dismissal of Patterson's claim. 

Two of the judges suggested that Carroll's alleged admissions that he was traveling 55 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone were inadmissible hearsay (although normally, a party's own statements against interest are not considered to be "hearsay").   Frankly, we don't understand the majority opinion's hearsay analysis and it appears to be in error.  The third judge apparently felt the same way, but concurred in the result as he believed that Patterson's suit would be barred in any event because she could not be less than fifty percent "at fault."  A separate Michigan statute limits injury victims from securing a judgment if they are deemed to be more at fault than the remaining defendants.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
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