As with other types of lawsuits, witness testimony and issues of credibility can make all the difference in a personal injury proceeding. However, a recent case reminded us that mere contradictions and discrepancies in depositions do not rise to the level needed to dismiss a lawsuit on the basis of fraud on the court.
In Suarez v. Benihana Nat. of Florida Corp., the plaintiff, Suarez, and his family were injured at a Benihana restaurant when they were allegedly struck by other customers at the establishment. Suarez and his family had finished their meal and were waiting for their car to be obtained by valet staff when another diner started a verbal fight with Suarez. The altercation ceased for a few minutes until two other individuals came out of the restaurant and joined their friend, the first verbal attacker. The verbal altercation started again and soon escalated into a physical one. Ultimately, Suarez was beaten by three men, each of whom was charged with assault and battery.
The Suarez family later sued the Benihana restaurant, alleging the establishment failed to provide adequately security for its patrons. A trial court granted the restaurant’s motion to dismiss the complaint, stating that the plaintiffs had committed fraud on the court by providing false and misleading information. Continue reading →