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Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.To answer your question directly, generally information pertaining to past history of the vehicle is NOT admissible unless relevant. Here, if the vehicle had past history, then by driving it the state can claim that you 'assumed the risk' of potential damages if you still ended up operating it. What may most definitely help here are two specific actions:1. If you can demand and request that your company release past records of brake complaints, bring them with you as evidence of issues.2. Likewise, consider bringing an 'expert', specifically a mechanic, with you to court and discuss the past issues.Typically judges would give you some deference especially since this was a commercial vehicle, and an emergency vehicle at that--hence if you give a judge a good enough reason, he may justify dropping the suit.Hope that helps.
Thank you for your reply, it is helpful. I very much doubt that I can bring the Expert Witness to Montana with me for court. We are both Federal employees and even with the facts of the Chief not granting my request to furnish another vehicle management has already taken the position that I am responsible.
Is a signed statement advising the vehicles mechancial history admissible. The Fire Dept perfroms regular vehicle checks which are logged and Work Order numbers are created for repars by vehicle identification.
I additionally have a signed statement from another employee who overheard me request to take another vehicle and the Chiefs inapproprite reponse. Which may as you stated cause further damage as I knew the vehicle had malfunctions and still drove it, but when your options are limited to what the Chief directs.
Thank you for your follow-up.You are most welcome, truly. This is just not a very easy situation. Your other argument may be a bit esoteric. You can claim 'respondiat superior' which is a legal term stating that your boss by sending you out for the work, is personally liable for all of your claims. This is a last ditch effort which hopefully you would not need to work if you can bring evidence of past history and explain that as a subordinate you had no choice but to operate the vehicle when your boss told you to do so.Hope that helps.
It does help, as like you said "A last Ditch Effort". I hope to not have to pull that card. I at this time have not advised management of the signed statement, and you are correct in this not being an easy situation. There is a lot more at stake than just my clean driving record and insurance rating, I am to attend an At Fault Hearing in two days that will determine if I am to receive disciplinary action for the vehicle accident, which will affect my employement. I have not formally informed management of the conversation with the Chief and his reply to me, just the facts that the vehicle has been reported to MRS and the Chief to have had malfunctions.
These items will be considered depending on the outcome of the At Fault Hearing. I was informed by the Deputy Manager when I requested assistance for dealing with the state of Montana that I was responsible to deal with them as if I was driving a POV. But not formally in the At Fault, but does give me insight on managements perspective.
Our discussion gives me food for thought as if I was not already thinking of my overall defense for the unfortunate circumstance I find myself in. I do thank you and may recontact you should I have any further questions. Thank you for your professionalism.
Thank you for your follow-up.Management will always attempt to deflect, even when it may be hard to do so. Glad to provide you with some options, and you are most welcome. Should you need me again, please feel free to request me by name. Good luck and good night to you!
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