State Supreme Court Finds No Excuse for Plaintiff’s Failure to Attend Hearing and Denies Plaintiff’s Motion

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island released its opinion in a personal injury lawsuit stemming from a 2011 “melee” at a nightclub in Providence. According to the facts outlined in the opinion, in 2011, the plaintiff claimed that he sustained a series of injuries after a fight broke out in a nightclub. The plaintiff subsequently brought a personal injury lawsuit against the nightclub in 2014, but the plaintiff’s attorney incorrectly stated that the melee occurred on November 4, 2010.

Bar BackAfter the plaintiff filed the lawsuit, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case, alleging that the three-year statute of limitations had passed, and therefore the lawsuit could not be brought. The defendant’s attorneys mailed the motion to dismiss to the plaintiff’s attorney and filed it on the online system. A hearing was scheduled for June 16, 2015.

The plaintiff’s attorney did not attend the hearing, at which time the judge granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss. The plaintiff’s attorney claimed that she did not receive the defendant’s motion to dismiss, and she also attempted to amend the date of the incident. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that there was “excusable neglect” because she did not receive the defendant’s motion, but she conceded that she forgot to update the online filing system. The judge did not “buy” the plaintiff’s excusable neglect argument and denied the motion to vacate. However, the judge did not make a ruling on the amendment. The state supreme court held that there were no extenuating circumstances that would lead to a proper “excusable neglect” argument, and therefore they affirmed the lower court’s finding.

New Mexico Statutes and Procedures In Personal Injury Lawsuits

As you can see from the case discussed above, it is incredibly important that plaintiffs hire a competent attorney who is knowledgeable in regard to specific state statutes and procedural requirements. After receiving medical treatment and reporting the incident to police, an accident victim should make sure to consult with an attorney before commencing a lawsuit against the culpable party. An attorney will be able to determine whether a claim is viable and assist in bringing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations passes. In New Mexico, a claim accrues when the accident or injury occurs, but there are some specific exceptions to this rule, and an attorney can assist you in determining whether you fall into an exception.

After filing a case, individuals and their attorneys must engage in informal discovery. This includes interviewing clients, reviewing the history of the parties, and completing additional research. Next, formal discovery will begin. During this process, it is extremely important that the plaintiff knows the time limits and the manner in which interrogatories, motions, admissions, and depositions must take place. Courts are reluctant to excuse mistakes and noncompliance.

If a plaintiff or their attorney does not comply with the mandatory requirements, it is highly likely that their case will be dismissed. In many situations, it is extremely difficult to commence a lawsuit after it has been dismissed. Knowing the applicable rules is imperative in New Mexico personal injury lawsuits.

Have You Been Injured Because of the Negligence of Another Party in New Mexico?

If you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of another individual or entity, you should contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm to determine your rights, remedies, and responsibilities. Although you are the victim, you may also face a burden when commencing a lawsuit of this nature, and it is important that you are aware of the applicable rules. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have many years of experience in commencing, settling, and litigating premises liability lawsuits in New Mexico, and these attorneys can assist you in pursuing your legal matter. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries and pain and suffering you experienced. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm to schedule your free initial consultation at 800-640-6590.

More Blog Posts:

Foreseeability as an Element of a New Mexico Negligence Claim, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2016.

State Court Finds Plaintiff Was Not Entitled to a New Trial in Lawsuit over Medical Expenses, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2016.