Viable Cause of Action
First driver driving on suspended license when another driver runs yield sign hitting first driver. Second driver, my client, is killed. First driver is convicted of 1st degree manslaughter, a felony, because of driving under suspension. Can I succeed with civil claim against first driver?
Answer: Yes. See: Benham v. Plotner, 795 P.2d 510 (Okla. 1990): A final conviction is conclusive of the facts necessary to establish the judgment, citing Lee v. Knight, 771 P.2d 1003 (Okla. 1989). A conviction pending on appeal is admissible, but is not conclusive. Party against whom offered may offer explanatory evidence. The conviction makes it a slam dunk on liability.
Posted on Thu, December 8, 2011
by Sharon Coleman filed under