Trafton, Matzen, Belleau & Frenette, LLP

Team Effort Prevails at Maine Supreme Judicial Court

James E. Belleau and Adam R. Lee recently prevailed at the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in Dawn H. Haskell et al. v. Grover B. Bragg Jr., 2017 ME 154. This case was on an appeal from the Superior Court’s judgment in favor of their clients who were awarded $928,071.64, plus interest and costs, for compensatory damages, damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages resulting from a brutal home invasion.

One Defendant, the individual who drove to the scene, appealed the portion of the Superior Court’s award that found him jointly and severally liable for compensatory damages and pain and suffering. The Maine Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, found that the Trial Court had correctly not considered evidence regarding causation, because the Defendant had filed a late answer. The Maine Supreme Court also found in favor of our clients on an issue they cross-appealed that because the getaway driver had filed a late answer, he was not entitled to raise the issue of comparative negligence. The Court’s decision, that a defaulted Defendant necessarily waives its right to raise the issue of comparative negligence, is groundbreaking law in Maine.

This victory at trial and then at the Maine Supreme Court is a testament to our team approach to litigation at Trafton, Matzen, Belleau & Frenette. Having multiple attorneys working on the same case allows for a collaborative approach in which our creative and experienced attorneys are able to bring their varying and complimentary skills to your case.

This is a link to the Opinion:

http://www.courts.maine.gov/opinions_orders/supreme/lawcourt/2017/17me154.pdf

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