Gonsalves v. LiAnnotate this Case
Li crashed a new BMW during a test drive. Gonsalves, a salesperson for the BMW dealership, was a passenger in the vehicle. Gonsalves sued, alleging that Li drove recklessly during the test drive, causing the accident, and that Gonsalves suffered significant back injuries as a result. A jury found that Li was negligent, that Gonsalves was not comparatively negligent, and awarded Gonsalves more than $1.2 million in damages. The court of appeal remanded for a new trial, finding that the trial court erred in admission of certain evidence and that Gonsalves’s counsel committed misconduct in at least two instances, resulting in cumulative prejudice. The discovery statutes do not authorize admission at trial of denials to requests for admissions; the court erred in allowing plaintiff’s counsel to examine him about his qualified denials and in admitting the written responses. The court also erred in in allowing plaintiff’s counsel to examine Li on “substantial factor” causation and in admitting evidence of prior speeding tickets.