One morning, Elmon Roberson found himself in a situation out of a nightmare. One moment, he was driving his children to school; the next, he was sitting behind the wheel of his car, dazed, looking out onto the scene of an accident, unable to remember what had just happened. Mr. Roberson soon learned that he had suffered his first petit mal (absence) seizure, which involves a brief, sudden lapse of consciousness. Thankfully, his young children were not hurt, and his condition, while serious, is controllable with medication. Two years later, however, Mr. Roberson was sued for nearly $10,000 in alleged damages resulting from the accident. The plaintiff claimed negligence. Mr. Roberson found Legal Aid’s Consumer Law Court-Based Legal Services Project. How could Mr. Roberson be negligent if he had no knowledge of his condition before getting into the car that morning? With Legal Aid by his side, a default that had been entered against Mr. Roberson was vacated and the case dismissed, relieving the Roberson family of a crushing financial burden they could ill afford.
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