by Travis Normand
This could get interesting as it wears on. Further, it could make SEC Media Days (scheduled for next week) more exciting IF anyone has the nerve to ask Coach Saban about it. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that moment to come.
On the morning of July 12, 2012, Kristen Saban’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that was filed by Sarah Grimes.
Once again, here are some excerpts from the motion to dismiss:
Case No.: CV-2012-900538
DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DISMISS
COMES NOW the Defendant and pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure respectfully moves this Honorable Court to dismiss all claims against this Defendant. In support thereof Defendant offers the following:
1. The defendant pleads the general issue and says that she is not guilty of the matter alleged in the Complaint.
2. This defendant pleads the general issue and says that the allegations of the Complaint are not true.
3. The defendant pleads that the plaintiff was the first aggressor in this incident and therefore she acted in self-defense.
6. The defendant avers that there is no causal relationship between any act of this defendant and the injuries alleged in the Complaint.
8. The plaintiff was guilty of negligence which proximately caused or contributed to cause the alleged injuries and damages.
9. The plaintiff assumed the risk of the alleged injuries and damages.
10. The defendant avers that all of the plaintiff’s medical expenses have been paid for by plaintiff’s medical insurance carrier, or some other form of insurance, and plaintiff is not entitled to recover.
11. The defendant avers that some other responsible entity and/or insurance company may have provided benefits in the form of medical payments or other compensation to the plaintiff.
13. The defendant avers that plaintiff has failed to mitigate her damages.
19. The defendant did not breach any duty owed to the plaintiff.
As for the substance of the motion, here are a few thoughts I had as I read it over. My points are numbered to correspond with the numbered items in the dismissal.
1/2: I wonder if there is proof of Kristen’s hearing with U of A’s Judicial Affairs, and whether it will be admissible in court. According to line 65 of the complaint, the beating was submitted to Judicial Affairs and Kristen pled guilty. However, prior admissions of guilt, even in the same matter, are not always admissible in later proceedings so it will be interesting to see how this fact plays out.
3: When I first read that Kristen Saban is claiming that Sarah Grimes was the first aggressor, I almost laughed hysterically. Next, I reminded myself that the only facts of the incident I have is from the complaint, and that is only the plaintiff’s side of the story. However, there is at least one line in the complaint that could potentially help Kristen with this defense.
On line 26 of the complaint it says that when Courtney cautioned Sarah from confronting Kristen because of Kristen’s known violent nature and previous assault on others, Sarah replied “Well, if she touches me, I’ll kill her.”
Despite the fact that we now know Sarah apparently doesn’t have the ability to kill Kristen (due to the beat-down she took from her); no one knew this at the time she made this statement. Someone claiming self-defense does not (in all cases) have to actually/physically be attacked before they begin to defend themselves. In other words, if Kristen was aware of this comment made by Sarah, or if Kristen could “reasonably” believe her life was in danger when she and Sarah met in the hall, then Kristen might have a slim chance of successfully claiming self-defense.
Further, if I was the one drafting this complaint, I would have described Sarah’s apparent throat grabbing of Kristen (and would have described it as a self-defense move) in the fight’s play-by-play instead of waiting to bring it up for the first time in line 47 of the complaint.
6/8/9: I think these three are my favorite. Essentially, Kristen is arguing that Sarah knew of the risks of dealing with Kristen under such circumstances (again, see line 26 – Courtney warning Sarah not to confront Kristen) and therefore assumed the risk of doing so.
Further, Kristen is arguing that Sarah is negligent for having confronted Kristen and thus Sarah Grimes is the proximate cause of her own injuries.
10/11/13: I am not very familiar with Alabama state tort law, but I am guessing from these comments they may not have a “collateral source rule
The collateral source rule, or collateral source doctrine, is an American case law evidentiary rule that prohibits the admission of evidence that a victim’s damages were or will be compensated from some source other than the damages awarded against the Defendant. For example, in a personal injury action, evidence that the Plaintiff’s medical bills were paid by medical insurance, or by Workers’ Compensation, is not generally admissible.
Of course, in the end, this case is not that unusual compared to all the other assault/battery cases that take place every year. However, for college football fans, you will have to bear with us as it is currently July and we are looking for football-related news (however attenuated) where ever we can find it.