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AUGUSTINE F. FORKWAR v. J&J LOGISTICS, INC.

On November 26, 2004, a vehicle driven by appellant, Augustine Forkwar, was struck by a commercial truck driven by Hameed Mahdi. Forkwar filed suit against Mahdi, for negligence, and against appellee, J&J Logistics, Inc. for negligence under the theory of respondeat superior.

At trial, the president of J&J testified that Mahdi was not an agent or employee of J&J at the time of the accident. The circuit court granted judgment in favor of J&J. The jury found against Mahdi, awarding damages of $180,756 plus costs.

Forkwar attempted to collect the judgment from Empire, Mahdi’s motor vehicle insurer. Empire removed the case to the United States District Court, which granted Empire’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that, because at the time of the accident Mahdi was operating his vehicle in furtherance of J&J’s business, Empire was not responsible for the judgment against Mahdi under the “Business Use exclusion” provision of Mahdi’s policy.

Forkwar subsequently filed in the instant case a motion to revise and vacate the judgment in favor of J&J, arguing that, based on the federal litigation, the president of J&J testified falsely at the trial.  The circuit court held a hearing, at the conclusion of which it granted J&J’s insurer’s motion to intervene and denied Forkwar’s motion to vacate. On appeal, Forkwar presents two questions for our review, which we have slightly rephrased:

1. Did the circuit court abuse its discretion when it denied Forkwar’s motion to vacate?

2. Did the circuit court err or abuse its discretion when it granted Progressive’s motion to intervene?

Read the unreported opinion.

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