12122017Headline:

Seattle, Washington

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Mark McLean
Mark McLean
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Judge Tosses Out BAC Results in U-Haul Suit

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Maria Federici suffered severe personal injuries–including (permanent) blindness, shattered bones in her face and severed arteries–when cargo from a U-Haul trailer in front of her fell out of the trailer and hit her vehicle. The accident and Ms. Federici’s subsequent injuries led to “Maria’s Law” which mandates stricter tie-down requirements and increases penalties for violators.

Apparently Ms. Federici drank a glass of wine shortly before driving home from work. A Blood Alcohol Test revealed her BAC to be between 0.06 and 0.11. However, prominent Harborview Medical Center physicians testified that the test was not accurate because “her near-death condition caused a reaction in her blood stream that gave an inaccurate result.”

As a result, King County Superior Court Judge Glenna Hall tossed the test out, ruling that its prejudicial value was outweighed by its probative value–meaning that jurors would likely (and unfairly) place too much weight in the faulty test when viewed in relation to the helpful value it would provide.

Maria’s case provides another example of how people shouldn’t hesitate to bring a personal injury claim even when the insurance adjuster or company official for the at-fault party asserts that damaging evidence precludes it. The BAC test was damaging to Maria’s case–but it also wasn’t accurate. And under the law, it will not be used against her. Experienced attorneys can help evaluate your claim–and let you know what evidence probably will and likely will not be used against it.

For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Car and Motorcycle Accidents.