Some United States Case Law Regarding Event Data Recorders (EDR’s)–Fort Worth, Texas Trucking Defense Attorneys



New York v. Christmann, Newark Village Court, Case No. 03110007 (2004) This was a nonjury criminal trial on a speeding citation. The defendant was found guilty of speeding, using EDR evidence, when his vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian.


Bachman, et al, v. General Motors Corp., Uftring Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Delphi Automotive Systems and Delco Electronics Systems, Illinois App. Ct., 4th Dist., No. 4-01-0237, Appeal from Circuit Court of Woodford County, Case No. 98L21 (2002). This is an appellate decision finding SDM data acquisition is not new or novel and meets the Frye standard for admissibility. SDM data was admitted into evidence in the civil trial.
Illinois v. Barham, Illinois App. Ct, 5th Dist., No. 5-02-0047, Appeal from the Circuit Court of Johnson County, Case No. 00-CF-90 (2003). This is an appellate decision in a criminal case where EDR evidence was introduced regarding the vehicle’s speed. The conviction was overturned by the appellate court on grounds other than those relating to the EDR evidence.



Anderson-Barahona v. General Motors Corp., No. 99A19714, GA, Cobb County Cir. Ct., Apr. 7, 2000. In this case, the plaintiff sought data from GM to help prove a defect caused the car to accelerate suddenly to 90 mph resulting in a crash.
Florida v. Walker, 20th Judicial Circuit, Lee County, Case No. 00-002866CF RTC (2003). This was a criminal case with a two vehicle, head-on collision. The defendant was charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide. At issue was the defendant’s speed and in which lane the collision occurred. The EDR provided evidence the defendant was not speeding at the time of the collision. The jury found the defendant not guilty.
Pennsylvania v. Rhoads, Montgomery County, Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, Docket No. 746701 (2002). This was a criminal case where the defendant pled guilty. It was a two vehicle accident in which the EDR in the defendant’s vehicle, a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, reported a speed of 106 mph.


Wisconsin v. Furst, Outagamie County Circuit Court, Case No. 00CF667 (2001). This was a criminal case where the defendant was charged with two counts of Homicide by the Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle. The EDR was recovered from the victim’s vehicle, a 1998 Buick Le Sabre, in which two occupants were killed. The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts.


Florida v. Matos, 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case No. 02015762 CF 10A (2003). This was a criminal case with two counts of Vehicular Homicide. EDR evidence relating to vehicle speed was introduced and the case went to a jury. A Frye Hearing was held on the admissibility of the EDR evidence. The defendant was convicted by a jury.


Wisconsin v. Martinez, Brown County Circuit Court, Case No. 01CF766 (2002). This was a criminal case where the defendant was charged with Homicide by the Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle. The EDR data was recovered from the defendant’s 2000 Pontiac Trans Am. The defendant pled guilty.



South Carolina v. Cassels, Beaufort County, General Session Indictment No. 2002 GF 070372 (2003). This was a criminal case with one count of reckless homicide. The EDR indicated the Defendant was traveling at 98 mph with 100% throttle. The police speed estimate was 82 to
96 mph at impact with another vehicle. The jury returned a guilty verdict.


Florida v. Ubals, 17th Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case No. 01017144 CF 10A (2003). This was a criminal case with two counts of DUI Manslaughter and two counts of Vehicular Homicide. The defendant was found guilty in a jury trial.
California v. Sanchez, Ventura County, Case No. 2001 9000 34 (2003). This was a murder case where the vehicle was not the weapon. EDR evidence was admitted.


Michigan v. Wood, Charlotte, Eaton County, Case No. 02 283 FH (2003) Admission of the EDR data over the objection of the defense where the defendant brought a “Davis-Frye” motion. The evidence was admitted.



South Dakota v. Janklow, 3rd Cir., Moody County, Case No. 03-147 (2003) This was a two vehicle accident involving a car and a motorcycle. The defense entered data from the EDR in the defendant’s 1995 Cadillac without objection from the prosecution. The defendant was found guilty.

A Review of Jurisprudence Regarding Event Data Recorders: Implications for the Access and Use of Data for Transport Canada Collision Investigation, Reconstruction, Road Safety Research and Regulation Robert N. Green, LLB, MD Kevin J. McClafferty, BESc University of Western Ontario Multi-disciplinary Accident Research Team

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