Kenneth Goldblatt | October 20, 2018 | Personal Injury
Syracuse, NY — In a venerable county courthouse boasting a chair Teddy Roosevelt sat in and lacking outlets for today’s electronics, the Rick Springfield trial posed a decidedly 21st century issue.
A comment left on a website led to a mistrial in the 2004 injury lawsuit against the 1980s pop icon.
Vicki Calcagno, 43, represented by Kenneth Goldblatt, of Liverpool, claimed that Springfield fell on her during a 2004 State Fair concert.
The trial was headed to a jury today when state Supreme Court Justice Anthony Paris declared a mistrial due to the new evidence on social media.
He noted that social media wasn’t even a player nine years ago, when the injury reportedly happened. The people who came forward may not have even known the trial existed until media coverage this week.
This is the first time in Central New York history a trial so close to jury deliberations was thrown out due to social media, according to a state court official. “It’s a whole new game regarding admitting evidence from social media,” said Gerard Neri, special counsel for the six-county court system including Syracuse.
“We haven’t come across this before in this district.” The Fifth Judicial District handles nearly 500 County and state Supreme Court trials each year, Neri said. But expect to see more trials derailed as social media brings more people into the conversation, Neri said.
He likened it to the difference between a stadium announcer reaching 50,000 people and an Internet site reaching millions. “The more people that have access to any set of facts, the bigger chance that someone will have something relevant to that set of facts,” Neri said.
In other words, as more people become blog, Facebook and Twitter users, the more this will happen. “Blogging is taking the place of the old corner tavern,” Neri said. That all being said, the law remains the same.
New evidence that comes to light during a trial can be considered, Neri said. Years ago, someone with new evidence might not read about a case until the next day’s paper. A jury might reach a verdict before the court can be alerted. But lawyers have always been able to argue for a new trial after a verdict based on new evidence. Social media has just sped up the process, leading to today’s mistrial.
Traumatic brain injury can have long lasting consequences for the victim in extensive medical bills and post treatment. To learn more about New York Traumatic Brain Injury, contact the New York brain injury lawyers at Goldblatt and Associates to schedule a free consultation. We serve accident victims in New York. We offer a free consultation, and receive no fee unless we are successful. Call 1-800-567-9888 today.