An associate in my office and I travelled to Atlanta today to interview an adverse party in a lawsuit we have.
Our client was on the interstate when the rear axle of the 18-wheeler in front of him came off and slammed in to him. He has hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills. We sued everyone involved, including the company the driver worked for. That company’s insurance company told them not to respond to the suit. They went into default — meaning they failed to answer the complaint. They also didn’t respond to requests for admissions, which means they are deemed to have admitted everything we asked them to admit.
They were willing to meet with us today. They told us their driver got his trailer from a company. He discovered that there was no oil on the rear axle. He took it back to the lessor of the trailer, who purportedly fixed it. Three days after the supposed repair, it came off the rear of the trailer and slammed into our client with our client travelling over 55 miles per hour on the interstate.
So, the adverse party is willing to say that (1) the trailer was “repaired” three days before the wreck by the owner of the trailer and (2) the adverse party’s insurance company affirmatively said that the adverse party should not respond because they had obviously been sued in error.
The cost of settlement just went up.