Irvine Attorneys Maria Pleše and Caroline Cordova obtained Summary Judgment in Favor of their Client

May 5, 2023

Partner, Maria Pleše and Associate, Caroline Cordova of the Irvine, California office obtained summary judgment in favor of their clients in a multi-vehicle, catastrophic injury accident.


This multi-vehicle, chain-reaction collision was caused by the driver of a flatbed truck that lost control of his vehicle on the I-5 fwy in rush hour traffic. Plaintiff was driving to work and our client was in a tractor-trailer in the lane directly to the left of him. As traffic began to slow, the flatbed lost control and collided with the rear of our client’s trailer, causing it to be pushed into Plaintiff’s lane of travel with the trailer landing on plaintiff’s vehicle and trapping him inside. All three involved drivers gave statements that day to the investigating CHP Officer.  Notably, they all stated that the series of collisions began when the flatbed lost control, causing the chain reaction accident. Plaintiff suffered substantial injuries and filed a claim for negligence against the driver and owner of the flatbed truck along with our driver and her employer. Plaintiff’s wife brought a derivative loss of consortium claim.

Despite his statements at the scene to the investigating officer and subsequent verified responses to requests for admission that an “unknown vehicle” cut him off, the driver of the flatbed later changed his story. At deposition, he now asserted that our client caused the accident when she traveled into his lane, cutting him off. We moved for summary judgment based on the substantial evidence, including the investigation by the responding officer, deposition testimony from the other parties involved and ample written discovery completed under oath, that our clients were not the cause of the accident. The flatbed initiated the collision and our client was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. The defense successfully argued to the Court that since the flatbed driver had made admissions under oath prior to changing his testimony, his statements made at deposition trying to shift blame to deflect liability did not amount to credible evidence and were therefore inadmissible.

The court found that we met our burden to show that Plaintiff cannot establish that our client proximately or legally caused the accident. The court further found that the “scant” evidence proffered by plaintiffs was “woefully insufficient” to establish a triable issue as to any liability against the moving party.

             Maria K Pleše, Partner                                  Caroline J. Cordova, Associate