SUCCESS STORY

The Early Bird Gets the Case Dismissed

Claims Alleged: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Injuries Alleged: Emotional Distress

The Overview

Smith Freed Eberhard succeeded in obtaining complete dismissal based on the pleadings through immediate, decisive, and aggressive action.

The Background

The claim arose from a car accident where there was very little damage. The plaintiff had a long history of being involved in auto accidents. She also received a substantial amount of chiropractic treatment which she alleged was related to her most recent accident. The case was transferred to the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) for further analysis in determining whether her high dollar claims were justified or not. When the plaintiff heard of this development, she sued the insurance company alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Strategy

There are times in litigation when the best legal strategy is to wait, let things progress, and then defend the case in a courtroom. This was not one of them, and Smith Freed Eberhard recognized that fact. We conducted a thoughtful examination and review, ultimately determining that the plaintiff was making a frivolous, inflated claim. Feeling that the case had very little merit, we attacked the case while it was still in the initial pleading stage, and filed a motion to dismiss. Executing this strategic move took precision and skill; usually the pleadings go in favor of the plaintiff, so defense counsel will opt to strike later on.

Smith Freed Eberhard was able to show the judge that the case was as frivolous as originally thought and that the claims were based more upon the plaintiff’s hurt feelings than upon any actual damage done.

The Outcome

Because the case was dismissed so early, our client did not even have to file an answer. Additionally, the client did not have to submit to discovery and did not need to pay for depositions. By taking an aggressive stance so early in the case, our client was able to save thousands of dollars in fees and costs.

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