Courts can rule for or against parties as a matter of law by granting motions for summary judgment. If a motion for summary judgment is granted, absent a reversal on appeal, the issues it decides will not be presented to the trier of fact, which in New Mexico personal injury cases is often a jury.
In a recent ruling, the United States District Court denied for the most part a motion for summary judgment brought by a driver of a semi-tractor trailer and his employer, the defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. The court granted the defendants’ summary judgment motion with respect to the plaintiff’s punitive damages claim, and it denied summary judgment with respect to the plaintiff’s New Mexico state law claims, including negligence, negligence per se, and negligent training and supervision.
The underlying accident occurred on Interstate I-40 at around 3:00 in the morning, after the individual defendant had taken over driving responsibilities from his brother.