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MOTOR VEHICLE TORTS: Superior Court grants summary judgment to defendant where evidence was overwhelming that plaintiff was driving while intoxicated and fell asleep at wheel

The plaintiff brought suit against defendant for injuries he sustained when he was driving late at night, hit a patch of black ice, lost control of his vehicle and collided with a truck owned by the defendant that was parked on the shoulder of a highway.  The evidence showed that the plaintiff admitted to the responding emergency personnel that he had been drinking heavily, suggested he might have fallen asleep while driving and his blood alcohol level was in excess of the legal limit.  The responding officers noted the absence of any dangerous road conditions and a meteorologist testified that the weather conditions did not give rise to black ice in the area of the accident.  The plaintiff subsequently denied drinking excessively that night and could not remember his conversations with emergency responders.  The defendant filed for summary judgment, alleging that in light of the plaintiff’s own negligence, no reasonable jury could conclude that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident.  The court granted the defendant’s motion, stating that the plaintiff’s testimony was not credible given its inconsistency with the other evidence and thus the court stated a reasonable jury would be compelled to find that the plaintiff drove with a blood alcohol level substantially above the legal limit.  Jenkins v. Road Scholar Transportation, LLC, 3:16-CV-554; Jan. 8, 2019.