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Reuter v. Maxwell – Dismissal with Award of Costs – El Dorado Superior Court

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2011 | Results

Gordon Bowley headshotOn December 11, 2011, the El Dorado Superior Court entered judgment against plaintiff in this matter lead by Gordon Bowley. The case, filed on May 28, 2010, alleged injuries by Calvin Reuter as a result of a bicycle collision with Mr. Bowley’s client, Ms. Maxwell, in South Lake Tahoe on September 11, 2009. At the time, Ms. Maxwell was leaving the Raley’s shopping center parking lot on South Lake Tahoe Boulevard. Ms. Maxwell stopped just prior to the sidewalk, after determining it was clear, she then entered traffic slowly waiting for traffic to clear. Soon thereafter, Reuter alleges he was riding his bike against traffic, when he came in contact with the front of the Maxwell vehicle. The contact was quite minor and Reuter left the scene seemingly without injury. Reuter then filed his lawsuit alleging negligence and intentional tort requesting damages based on his medical treatment, loss of income and also punitive damages.
After assignment of this case, Mr. Bowley along with Rob Bennett, were successful in demurring the cause of action for intentional tort and punitive damages. Next, plaintiff then filed an amended Complaint alleging bad faith by Maxwell’s insurer. Again, Gordon and Rob were successful in demurring that cause of action. After commencing discovery, Gordon was able to secure significant impeachment of the plaintiff not only in his factual allegations on how the accident occurred but also regarding his contention that he was not previously injured and had no subsequent injuries or lawsuits. A background investigations of the plaintiff indicated he not only had a prior significant medical and claims history but he also had a subsequent lawsuit for injuries resulting from a slip and fall. Interestingly, in the 11th hour before trial, plaintiff produced a new third party witness who could allegedly corroborate the plaintiff’s contentions on how the accident occurred. Gordon then hired an investigator to speak to the new witness who initially avoided responding to the investigator’s requests, but once he agreed to cooperate confirmed that he in fact did not witness the accident and was being asked to testify by the plaintiff himself.

After gaining the above impeachment, Mr. Bowley continued to defend his client advising the plaintiff the matter would be taken to trial. With trial set to begin in August, 2011, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case on the date Rob was set to depose the third party witness. As a result of the successful dismissal, Gordon was able to secure the costs of defending the matter for his client totaling nearly $5,000.

Congratulations to Gordon and his clients.