North Carolina Court Dismisses Appeal in Commercial Truck Accident Case

flatbed truck

Commercial trucks cause accidents, injuries, and deaths in many different ways. Usually, the truck is in motion when a crash or collision happens, but this is not always so.

Sometimes, the problem is not so much with the truck itself but with the cargo. Part of a truck driver’s job is to make sure that the load is properly secured. When this does not happen, the results can be tragic.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently under consideration by the Court of Appeals of North Carolina, the plaintiff was the administratrix of the estate of a man who was killed when a scallop dredge fell off a roll-back commercial truck and crushed him. The administratrix filed a wrongful death action and a survival claim against several defendants, including the driver of the truck and the alleged owner of the truck.

The defendants moved for partial summary judgment, averring that two of the named defendants were non-existing entities, that a third named defendant had been dissolved prior to the accident, and that one of the individual defendants was, while perhaps a corporate officer or owner, neither a necessary nor a proper party to a lawsuit against a corporation.

The trial court granted partial summary judgment in favor of five of the seven named defendants, and the plaintiff appealed. Thereafter, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed, without prejudice, the remaining two defendants in an apparent attempt to pursue an interlocutory appeal of the trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment.

Proceedings in the Court of Appeals of North Carolina

The court dismissed the appeal on the ground that it did not qualify for an exception to its rules prohibiting interlocutory appeals. The court first observed that the defendants had filed a supplement to the record on appeal, showing that the plaintiff had filed a new complaint against the two parties that she had voluntarily dismissed earlier and that the new complaint contained allegations “substantially similar” to those in the original complaint. The plaintiff moved to strike the defendant’s supplement to the record, but the appeals court denied the motion.

Because of the plaintiff’s second complaint, the court opined that the order from which she had appealed was no longer a final judgment for the purposes of determining the court’s authority to entertain the appeal. Neither of the two exceptions allowing for interlocutory appeals having been met, the court found that dismissal was the proper remedy.

Contact a Knowledgeable North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyer

When a trucker or trucking company’s negligence causes a serious injury or wrongful death, the victim or the victim’s family has a legal right to seek fair compensation by filing a negligence claim against the individual or business that allegedly caused the accident. At Nagle & Associates, our tractor-trailer crash attorney can help you seek compensation after a flatbed accident. Our legal team will be glad to explain the legal process to you and help you decide whether to pursue a claim under the facts of your or your loved one’s accident.

Related Blog Posts:

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North Carolina Appeals Court Holds that Failure to Name Deceased Trucker’s Estate Was Fatal to Injured Motorist’s Negligence Claim

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