Christina L. Capobianco and Bonnie H. Hanlon, partners in the firm’s Trucking and Transportation practice, wrote an article discussing strategies defendants can use to exclude any evidence of cell phone usage for commercial driver accidents.
In “Strategies for Excluding Your Driver’s Cell Phone Usage,” Christina and Bonnie talk about conflicts between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule and commercial driver’s license manuals, ways to exclude evidence of hands-free device usage, and studies that challenge claims linking increased accidents to the use of a hands-free device.
“With the prevalence of billboards and advertising campaigns directed at cell phone use while driving, evidence of hands-free cell phone usage carries with it the same potential for undue prejudice as drinking and driving, and it warrants the same protections. The mere fact that a driver was legally using his or her hands-free cell phone at the time of the accident is insufficient to render him or her unfit to drive. Unless the proponent can offer supplementary, case-specific evidence that the hands-free cell phone usage caused the driver to be distracted, and that this distraction was a cause of the accident, then evidence of cell phone use must be excluded.”
“Strategies for Excluding Your Driver’s Cell Phone Usage,” For The Defense, December 2019
Christina L. Capobianco is an experienced and trial-tested litigator whose reputation for defending regional and national businesses and insurers in diverse civil litigation matters rests on a record of successful trials, arbitrations, and mediations. Christina maintains a focus on trucking and management and professional liability matters, and is a leader in the firm’s Trucking and General Liability practices. She also defends and advises school districts in education-related matters, including civil rights claims and student expulsions, and has represented insurers and businesses in insurance coverage claims, bad faith claims, premises liability, and commercial litigation.
Bonnie H. Hanlon practices primarily in the areas of products liability, transportation, and personal injury litigation, representing both multi-national trucking and logistics companies and a number of automobile and truck manufacturers. She has served as national counsel to a major automobile manufacturer, representing its interests in litigation throughout the country.